Wigan A&E experiences 'unprecedented demand'

Wiganers faced waits as long as 12 hours yesterday as hospital staff faced demand of "New Year's Eve proportions."

Wigan Infirmary was overwhelmed by demand yesterday
Wigan Infirmary was overwhelmed by demand yesterday

Staff at Wigan Infirmary took to social media on Monday evening to say: "Wigan A&E is extremely busy. If you come to A&E you can expect to wait up to 12 hours while the most serious cases are prioritised ahead of you."

The demand was so overwhelming that hospital bosses even issued a plea to ask off-duty nurses to come in and help, to ease the strain on services.

Pauline Law, director of nursing tweeted to say that "all available escalation areas" were being utilised to cope with the pressure.

Paramedics also received a high number of 999 calls throughout the evening. They urged residents to "make the right call" when considering calling an ambulance, and to exhaust all other non-emergency options first.

Andrew Foster, chief executive of the Wigan, Wrightington and Leigh (WWL) NHS Trust said: "On an incredible day/night of activity when the UK ambulance Trusts experienced extreme demand of New Year’s Eve proportions, my team report that Wigan and the A&E staff were exceptional in their collaborative work and going the extra mile."

Officials later issued advice to Wiganers who may require hospital treatment, by revealing that the quietest times to access A&E services were between midnight and 11am. They also suggested visiting walk-in centres instead, where there are much shorter waits to be seen.