Stoke & Staffordshire

Delay-hit Stoke-on-Trent A&E department gets £5.5m

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Media captionIn October, over just 48 hours, 46 patients had to wait more than 12 hours for treatment

The government is to spend an extra £5.5m to support a delay-hit A&E department in Stoke-on-Trent.

Over a period of two days in October, 46 patients had to wait more than 12 hours at University Hospital North Midlands to be seen by medical staff.

The hospital said the money would be spent on diverting some patients to nearby Haywood Walk-In Centre.

Staff said the delays in treating patients were caused by "a combination of many factors".

'Manage the demand'

One man, Alan Wrench, whose wife collapsed while waiting more than eight hours to be seen at the hospital, said he felt emergency cases needed to be categorised differently.

"We went in a queue and it was 06:00 before she actually saw a doctor," he said.

"My wife was in a lot of pain and I think they could have categorised patients differently. You were just in queue and you were seen in the order in which you arrived."

Clinical lead Ann Marie Morris said the extra resources would be spent on diverting 50 ambulances a month to the walk-in centre.

The centre's X-ray department will have its resources extended to cope with the extra patients.

"We need to manage the demand of patients coming through the front door," she said.

"Encouraging the public who don't necessarily need to come to the emergency department for their treatment would manage that demand."

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