System Pressures: Hospitals

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Hospitals in Cheshire and Merseyside are running extremely high levels of bed occupancy and are seeing a huge rise in demand for their services.

Attendances at A&E departments are rising; there are ongoing challenges in discharging patients who are well enough to leave hospital, and we are seeing a significant increase in staff sickness – all of which leads to longer waits than we would like for patients to be seen and admitted.

Unfortunately, this does mean that our hospitals may need to postpone some non-urgent operations and outpatient appointments to accommodate those patients with the most urgent clinical need.

Cancer and other urgent operations and appointments will continue to be prioritised and those patients whose appointments need to be postponed will be contacted.

We appreciate that this may be distressing for those patients whose appointments need to be postponed – especially given the ongoing delays due to the pandemic. However, patient safety must take priority and we need to take action to make sure that those who are more clinically urgent get the help they need as quickly as possible.

Our staff continue to work exceptionally hard; and we would like to reassure our patients and the public that in spite of the challenges faced and some changes to non-urgent appointments, essential services remain open for anyone who needs them. If you require urgent medical help, please continue to come forward.

The public can help us manage these periods of demand by ensuring they are seeking help from the most appropriate health services, and only attending A&E if seriously ill or injured. If you are unwell, visit NHS 111 online for 24/7 advice about the most appropriate care for your needs.

We have significant staffing pressures due to Covid-19. People can help us to help them by getting their Covid-19 booster vaccine to protect themselves and their families and reduce pressure on health services.

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