Volunteers priased for their help as the Royal Derby Hospital coped with high numbers of patients
AN NHS manager has praised volunteers for their help as the Royal Derby Hospital coped with high numbers of patients due to the snow.
It was one of several comments made by David Ainsworth, general manager for acute medicine at the city's hospitals, as he used the Derby Telegraph's website yesterday to keep readers updated about how the Royal Derby was coping.
Each year, winter illness and injuries put pressure on hospitals and emergency services – with East Midlands Ambulance Service reporting a massive rise in calls.
Writing on the thisisderbyshire.co. uk website, Mr Ainsworth said: "The volunteers provide an excellent support to the busy hospital. Their three buggies have been busy fetching and carrying people inside the hospital corridors to their appointments."
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Mr Ainsworth started his comments at 8am. Among some of his remarks were: "8am: We need to take a decision on non-urgent ambulance journeys. We'll have many outpatient clinics whose patients will arrive by an ambulance. There is a risk to ambulance staff and roads are slow.
"9am: Staff are still arriving into work, delayed by the slow traffic on our roads.
"10.30am: Some patients are refusing to travel in for their outpatient appointments due to the weather conditions.
"12.15pm: We've just finished the 12pm meeting to review how we are coping across the hospital. The Trust is on amber alert, which means there are no major concerns.
"12.25pm: We're seeing more slips and falls in the snow and, as expected, broken bones are the main feature for many of our patients.
"1.30pm: The weather is having an impact on people having accidents. The minor injury unit, in Ilkeston, and the walk-in centre, in Osmaston Road, are sending patients to Royal Derby for specialist opinion and treatment.
"2.05pm: A&E is caring for a number of older people suffering respiratory breathing problems.
"3.20pm: Four ambulances have arrived in A&E since 3pm and we are expecting a further three in the next five minutes."
For more information and updates from Derby's hospitals, visit www.twitter.com/DerbyHospitals.
Meanwhile, the treacherous weather conditions meant Emas received 900 more calls between January 17 and January 20, compared to the same period last year.
Of the 6,335 calls, the trust said 1,118 related to falls and 140 to road traffic incidents. The trust said it received help from mountain rescue teams in Derbyshire to reach homes worst hit by the snow.
But it said more than 1,000 calls received since last Thursday were for conditions where people could have gone to other health services – including the NHS non-emergency 111 number, a walk-in centre or local GP.