'Surge' to 10k in number of people seeking emergency help at Scunthorpe General Hospital
PEOPLE are being urged to think twice about using Scunthorpe General Hospital's A&E department after a year-on-year jump in admissions of almost five per cent.
A total of 10,052 people have attended the town's A&E department in the past two months – an increase of 4.8 per cent on the same period last year.
Angie Smithson, director of operations at Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Hospitals Trust, said patients had to think about whether they really needed to use the service.
"Our hospitals continue to be exceptionally busy at the moment, both in the A&E department and on our in-patient wards," she said.
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"While we are seeing quite poorly patients coming through our doors who do require hospital treatment, we would urge people to please think twice before visiting A&E if it's not an emergency.
"Most common aches, pains and winter illnesses will begin to clear up by themselves within a few days with some self-care essentials, so there really is no need to call 999 or go to A&E with these."
Latest figures released by the trust show no one condition is causing the rise.
However, the number of cases where doctors found nothing abnormal when a patient attended did rise from 250 in December to 314 in January – an increase of 25 per cent.
The amount of people with sprain and ligament injuries increased by 30 per cent in one month – from 201 to 263. The largest increase was the number of people diagnosed with the blood poisoning condition septicaemia. This figure nearly doubled from 23 in December to 44 in January.
Miss Smithson, director of operations at the trust, said: "We are seeing more people attend our A&E department than we did this time last year, but we are coping. We are also experiencing a higher 'conversion' rate – that is, the number of people attending A&E who need to be admitted as in-patients.
"Staff are working hard to make sure patients are seen and treated as quickly as possible.
"To help ease the situation, we have created additional capacity in the hospital by opening up extra beds, including 10 as a short stay unit."
The hospital has been on red alert on most wards since January 4 – meaning occupancy rates are reaching high levels.
The hospital is encouraging people to make use of alternative services, or call NHS Direct on 0845 4647.
SEE RELATED ARTICLES ON THE REASONS PEOPLE VISITED THE HOSPITAL AND WHEN YOU MUST MAKE A 999 CALL