Yorkshire hospitals have issued a joint warning for people to stay away from emergency departments except for in “genuine, life-threatening situations”, after a surge in numbers left some patients waiting for up to 12 hours.
Dr Andrew Lockey, emergency medicine consultant with Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust, said “hospitals are extremely busy” and faced “huge challenges” over the past fortnight.
Hospital trusts across West Yorkshire and Harrogate in North Yorkshire – an area covering more than 2.5 million people – said the current pressures have left them with no choice but to prioritise patients presenting with acute illness or injuries.
The West Yorkshire Association of Acute Trusts said its most recent emergency department figures show a 14.2 per cent increase in attendance compared with the same week last year.
The fallout from Covid-19 is clearly continuing to significantly affect an exhausted workforce, one which would quickly point out that under-funding and a lack of resources left them at crisis point even before the pandemic.
Their commitment to our health and wellbeing is the bedrock of this country – a point that should not be forgotten even as the headlines about Covid-19 are fewer.
Please, heed their concerns and take seriously their appeals.