A&E staff defended as numbers surge

Wigan Infirmary A and E department
Wigan Infirmary A and E department

WIGAN emergency department staff are being placed under increasing winter pressures as hospital bosses act to deter A&E time-wasters.

Residents have been urged to help out Wigan Infirmary by only attending in the event of serious accidents or life-threatening situations.

And angry residents have taken to social media to condemn those “clogging up” the A&E as departments across the country reach crisis point.

Senior staff at the Infirmary told the Evening Post one patient had called 999 and visited A&E because they had not received their repeat prescription.

While another visitor called in at the emergency department due to pain caused by falsely fitted hair extensions.

Fiona Noden, director of operations and performance, said: “A&E should only be used for critical or life-threatening situations requiring urgent medical attention.

“Such as loss of consciousness, heavy blood loss, suspected broken bones, persistent chest pain, difficulty breathing, overdoses, ingestion or poisoning.”

Infirmary staff reported instances of patients attending A&E unnecessarily with headaches, minor rib injuries, asthma and abdominal pain in recent weeks.

Those with minor ailments are advised to consider other NHS health care options such as walk-in centres.

Neighbouring Royal Bolton Hospital is one of 10 across the country to declare major incident status as A&E waiting times have hit a 10 year low, it was announced yesterday.

More than 2,800 patients waited more than four hours for treatment in the region’s departments last week, figures revealed.

The average waiting time in Wigan was five hours earlier this week but has since improved.

And in December, 676 residents visited A&E more than once in Wigan, accounting for 1,504 visits, working out at 20 per cent of all attendances during the month.

On the Wigan Today Facebook page, Kelly Pojunas, said: “I went on New Year’s Eve and waited three hours, it was very busy and I agree that some people go to A&E for next to nothing.”

Alison McMillan said: “Maybe if people didn’t arrive at A&E with ridiculous problems there wouldn’t be such a waiting time.

“Use the services wisely. A patient who’s hair extensions were hurting! That is a problem for a hairdresser.”