'Record-breaking attendances' at A&E as Doncaster hospitals experience winter pressures since May

Doncaster’s most senior hospital boss has said they’ve experienced the most intense winter pressure on NHS services continuously since May along with ‘record breaking’ days for admissions.

Friday, 12th November 2021, 4:01 pm
Doncaster Royal Infirmary has experienced intense winter pressure continually since May according to Doncaster & Bassetlaw NHS Trust CEO Richard Parker

Richard Parker, chief executive of Doncaster & Bassetlaw NHS Trust spoke recently to councillors during an update on the current situation across their sites.

He said there’s been a continuous increase in the amount of patients being admitted to hospital with 70 to 90 coming every day for a number of weeks.

But Mr Parker said there had been a sharp increase in the number of people coming through the emergency department and that 420 people on ‘really busy days’ were attending A&E where previously this would have been between ‘350 to 360’.

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As of the morning of Thursday, November 11, Doncaster Royal Infirmary had around 50 people being treated for Covid-19 and a further 20 with other conditions relating to complications from the virus.

Mr Parker urged people to continue to be cautious and said any big spike in Covid-19, Influenza or Norovirus cases would put NHS services under even more pressure.

“The hospitals remain incredibly busy and recent data we’ve looked at shows the level of pressure has been equivalent to an intense winter pressure since May of this year,” Mr Parker said:

“The number of patients we are treating is relative to a normal winter at this point and therefore our concern is the potential impacts on rising Covid-19 numbers and other seasonal viruses, a particular worry is Influenza and Norovirus.

“The emergency departments have been incredibly busy since the public began to attend the hospital again after the initial Covid-19 waves.

“We’ve seen some absolutely record breaking days in terms of attendance – well over 420 patients a day on really busy days where it previously would have been between 350 and 360.

“These patients attended for a multitude of reasons but what we’ve also seen is a significant rise in the severity of the illness that patients presenting with and we believe it’s probably related to people not necessarily seeking attention at the point that they would have previously done.

“We’re trying to recover from the impacts of Covid-19 around extended waiting times for procedures, but also for diagnostics and a huge amount of effort is going into trying to make sure that we continue with that recovery. So the hospital is on the two sides of pressure, the emergency side and the elective side.”