'Critical incident' declared as people are told not to attend 'full' A&E at Wigan Infirmary
and live on Freeview channel 276
Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (WWL) has been reporting very high demand at its casualty unit in recent days, with high numbers of patients and discharge delays contributing to the problem.
But the situation has now become even more severe and they are telling people not to attend the unit unless they have a “life or limb-threatening emergency”.
A spokesman said: “Due to the immense pressure on our services, the trust has declared a critical incident at Royal Albert Edward Infirmary in Wigan.
“Our A&E is full. Do not to attend, unless you have a life or limb-threatening emergency.
“We are working with partners across Wigan borough to tackle these pressures, with a major focus on discharging patients who are ready to leave our hospitals, so that we can continue to treat patients in urgent clinical need.
"The safety of our patients and staff is our utmost priority, so please help us by sharing this information.”
Declaring a critical incident means the trust can take further action to deal with the situation, which will include rearranging some non-urgent operations and appointments so staff can focus on caring for patients who are most seriously ill.
People are being urged to seek medical help elsewhere if possible, such as from NHS 111, a GP or pharmacist, and to collect loved ones from hospital as soon as they are ready to be discharged, to help free up beds.
It comes just a day before workers from North West Ambulance Service – as well as other ambulance services across the country – take strike action in a dispute over pay.
Ambulances will still be available to respond, but they will be prioritised for category one calls – life-threatening injuries and illnesses.
Patients have been asked to consider taking alternative transport, such as a taxi or getting a lift from family or friends, if they need to go to hospital.