Residents are being urged not to clog up Doncaster’s accident and emergency department after it was under pressure casualty staff are failing to hit targets.
Bosses at Doncaster Royal Infirmary are encouraging people to only visit Doncaster Royal Infirmary in genuine emergencies.
It comes as the latest NHS figures show the hospital failed to meet its target of seeing 95 per cent of patients at accident and emergency within four hours for the first four weeks of December.
One mother revealed she had to wait more than four hours for treatment for her daughter who had drunk white spirit, while an 89-year-old woman had to wait four-and a half hours.
Hospital bosses said they experienced pressures over Christmas and continue to be busy in the department.
The figures show 88.4 per cent of patients were seen within four hours during the week ending December 28, and 88.6 per cent were seen in that time during the week ending December 21.
In the week ending December 14, 88.1 per cent were seen within four hours, while 93.7 per cent were seen within that time in the week ending December 7. During the four-week period, 10,210 people attended the major A&E department, with 1,332 not seen within four hours.
Residents have revealed their experiences of the busy period.
Nicola Bloore, posting on Facebook, said: “My eight-year-old girl drank some white spirit and was coughing and being sick. Yet they still kept us waiting for over four hours. She ended up falling asleep on the table in the waiting room.”
Hailey Bell said: “My great-grandmother was in A&E for four-and-a-half hours before being seen. She is 89 and had an allergic reaction to penicillin.”
Michelle Birkby said: “My father-in-law came in by ambulance over Christmas and had to wait eight hours on a trolley.
“He then didn’t get a bed till 3am. He’s 83-years-old and to make him wait up until 3am is terrible.”
Meanwhile unions claim that hospital staff are facing extra workloads because of the impact of cuts to adult social care services.
Charlie Carruth, regional representative of trade union Unison, said: “Staff are over-stretched and working to their maximum.”
Mike Pinkerton, chief executive of Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “It remains essential that people continue to choose wisely and seek advice from general practitioners, pharmacies and the NHS Advice Line 111, which helps our emergency staff concentrate on the seriously ill patients.”