Emergency Department at Warrington Hospital under Extreme Pressure

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The Emergency Department at Warrington Hospital is currently facing extreme pressure. We are asking patients to consider whether A&E is the most appropriate place for them, or whether suitable care can be accessed via an alternative route.

Like all frontline and healthcare workers, the staff at NHS Warrington and Halton Hospitals Foundation Trust have faced the unrelenting pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic with bravery, compassion and unfaltering dedication. Now, 17 months on from the start of the UK outbreak, staff are facing an entirely new challenge – extreme pressure on their A&E department.

Staff continue to do all they can to treat those with the most urgent need, and we are asking patients to consider whether A&E is really the most appropriate place for them.

Dr Alex Crowe, Executive Medical Director, WHHFT said, “Our hospital Emergency Department is currently under extreme pressure, and we need your help.

“We are seeing a rise in patients coming into the hospital which means much longer waiting times with increased pressure on staff who are working hard to ensure that they see and treat the sickest patients first.

“Please remember that Accident & Emergency is for life-threatening emergencies or accidents only. Lots of patients that are coming to the department could be better treated or advised elsewhere.

“Please, help us to help you and keep A&E only for life-threatening accidents or emergencies.”

If you need urgent medical advice and are not sure where to go, then please use NHS 111 online http://111.nhs.uk to check your symptoms and be directed to get the most appropriate care. If you don’t have access to the internet, you can still call NHS 111. There may be a wait to answer your call, but please be patient. NHS 111 have trained advisors that can direct you to the right service and, if necessary, organise an arrival slot in A&E. Please remember that this is not an appointment time.

Alternative options include Pharmacists who are qualified to give advice and dispense medicines for a range of illnesses including coughs, colds, stomach upsets and skin conditions. They can provide many treatments ‘over the counter’ to help you get better at home. You can find your local pharmacy by searching your postcode on http://www.nhs.uk/find-a-pharmacy 

Please remember that your GP is also open, and your practice can be contacted online, through an app or by phone so you can be assessed.

If you need a face-to-face appointment, you will be given one. Measures have been put in place to protect patients and staff from COVID-19, so it is safe to attend.

We also have two excellent Urgent Treatment Centres which are open 8:00am – 9:00pm, 7 days a week in Widnes and Runcorn. There is convenient parking, and a free shuttle bus service also runs 7 days a week from Warrington Hospital to the Runcorn Urgent Treatment Centre.

Urgent Treatment Centres are for patients who have minor injuries or illnesses that require urgent attention, but are not critical or life-threatening. You do not need to make an appointment, just turn up and you will be seen, often with a much shorter waiting time than visiting Warrington Hospital A&E Department.

We understand that sometimes these services are further away from your home / location than the A&E Department, but we really appreciate you supporting us and if possible, arriving at the best place for your needs.