Fresh call for patients not to visit Wigan’s A&E department

editorial image

Hospital bosses have renewed their call for people to stay away from Wigan’s A&E department, unless they are in a serious or life-threatening condition.

There has been another surge in demand in people visiting Wigan Infirmary, putting pressure on services.

“With the support of the public we can make sure that we are focusing the right level of attention on our very poorly patients who are suffering serious medical emergencies.”

Mary Fleming, director of operations at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust

It follows an appeal last month for people to seek advice and treatment in other places where possible, due to “unprecedented” demand.

Mary Fleming, director of operations at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Our message is simple – if you have a serious urgent medical emergency, go to A&E or dial 999. For everything else please seek out the most appropriate healthcare provider such as a GP or pharmacist.

“Unnecessary attendances to our A&E prevent doctors and nurses from seeing and treating those patients who need urgent care quickly. In addition it is putting a huge strain on the hospital as a whole.

“With the support of the public we can make sure that we are focusing the right level of attention on our very poorly patients who are suffering serious medical emergencies.”

People who go to the A&E department whose condition is not considered to be serious are warned they will have to wait until a doctor is available to see them. This is “very likely” to be outside the four-hour waiting time.

The number of people attending Wigan’s A&E unit fell after last month’s appeal for people to stay away, but has gone up again.

Last month hospital bosses said there had been increased demand over the past seven months.

The temporary closure of Chorley’s A&E department, which was replaced with an urgent care centre, was cited as a “contributing factor”.

Bosses at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Chorley And South Ribble Hospital, previously said the unit could be open again by the end of August.

The introduction of NHS 111 and a reduction in patients accessing GP out-of-hours services were also blamed for the rising number of patients at A&E in Wigan.