Yorkshire hospital has 'busiest day ever' in A&E as winter pressures increase

Doncaster Royal Infirmary. Credit: Marie Caley
Doncaster Royal Infirmary. Credit: Marie Caley
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A hospital in Yorkshire has recorded its busiest ever day in A&E - with nine of its 30 busiest days coming in the last three months as winter pressures increase.

Figures released from Doncaster Royal Infirmary show attendances to the emergency department are up on the previous year in each month from October.

Hospital bosses said November 22 was the ‘busiest day ever’ and a further ‘nine of the top 30 days’ on record between October and January 2019/2020.

The data follows concerns from Doncaster councillors around the number of ambulances waiting outside A&E to hand over patients.

Health scrutiny chair Coun Andrea Robinson said she would write to Doncaster CCG chief officer Jackie Pederson.

Hospital bosses admitted they have experienced 16 ambulances turning up at once during this period.

Since October, NHS staff are seeing well over 15,000 people turn up in consecutive months – an overall increase of seven per cent on the previous year.

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Between October 2018 and January 2019, there were 57,951 A&E visits. But in the same time period a year later, this rose to 61,900 – an increase of nearly 4,000.

Stephen Segasby, deputy director of operations at YAS, recently told councillors at the scrutiny meeting handover delays was a "symptom of a system that’s not working effectively" but DRI was "not alone with this".

Rebecca Joyce, chief operating officer at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals, said: “Like many trusts across the country, we have experienced an incredibly busy winter thus far, with record breaking attendances.

“Recently, this position has been further challenged by an increase in patients attending by ambulance, with our services sometimes having to deal with upwards of 16 vehicles turning up at once.

“Despite this, our team has worked incredibly hard to ensure that patients are treated in a timely manner, as well as kept safe while waiting in our hand-over bay, which is inside the emergency department, for the official transition of care.

“We continue to work closely with our partners at the Yorkshire Ambulance Service to address any issues. This work in the past has included placing Hospital Ambulance Liaison Officers at the Trust, which is something we are keen to continue in the future and we will, together, explore further opportunities to improve our offer for local people.”