Hospital bosses are urging patients not to put unnecessary strain on accident and emergency services.
New figures show the University Hospital of North Tees fell just short of the Government’s standard for dealing with A&E patients in October. The national target is for 95% of patients to be seen within four hours - the figure at North Tees in October was 93%.
Our A&E staff need to concentrate on very sick and injured people whose health needs are our priority at this time.Julie Gillon
Deputy chief executive and chief operating officer for North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, Julie Gillon said: “Due to pressures across the whole of the trust, we have unfortunately fallen short of the four hour target.
“Accident and emergency can’t be seen in isolation – pressures affect the whole system. Unfortunately, many of the people we are seeing have complex illnesses and need to be admitted. The hospital is already full of patients who have similar illnesses and we are unable to discharge some patients.
“Discharge can be a complex issue. Often there are many factors involved, such as the availability of nursing or care homes and patients’ families also having a choice of where they are cared for. This means we are unable to move patients through into the wards as quickly as we would like to.
“However, we would also like to take this opportunity to remind people that accident and emergency is for serious illnesses and injuries. Having things at home so you can take care of minor illnesses or injuries yourself means the doctors and nurses can concentrate on looking after the seriously ill or injured.
“It’s useful to have a well-stocked medicine and first aid cabinet at home but if you have a minor illness, make an appointment to see your GP, visit a walk-in centre or talk to your local pharmacist.
“Our A&E staff need to concentrate on very sick and injured people whose health needs are our priority at this time.
“I would like to thank our staff right across the trust who are working extremely hard and supporting each other so they can give our patients the care they need throughout this very busy time.”