Health bosses are appealing to local people only to attend A and E at the Royal Bolton Hospital in the case of a genuine accident or emergency. The department – in common with many hospitals across Greater Manchester and the country as a whole – has been particularly busy in recent weeks.
Andy Ennis, Chief Operating Officer at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, said many people who were coming to A and E should have sought advice or treatment from elsewhere.
He said: “Until recent weeks the Royal Bolton Hospital had one of the best A and E performances in the country, but now even we are struggling with the demand. There seem to be many reasons why this is happening including a generally older and therefore sicker population who do need hospital treatment. However many people who come to A and E did not need to be here – coughs and colds are not emergencies.”
Last week the Board of Directors heard that although the Trust achieved the minimum 95% target for A and E patients to be admitted, discharged or transferred within four hours in the period July to September, it was highly unlikely to achieve it for the period October, November and December. The performance in October was 92% and has been deteriorating.
Mr Ennis added: “Unnecessary attendances at A and E mean longer waits for patients and extra pressure on our staff throughout the Trust. Our staff have worked valiantly to cope with the demand but we need local people to help by only coming to the department when really necessary.”