Kevin Hill, NHSGGC’s Director of Women and Children’s Services said: “Monday (12 November) was the busiest day ever for the Emergency Department at the Royal Hospital for Children since it opened in 2015, with a record number of patients being seen in 24 hours.
“Waiting times at the RHC are kept consistently low, and we see, treat and admit or discharge between 97%-99% of patients within four hours and our staff are rightly proud of this remarkable record. We see on average less than 200 patients each day in the department.
“On Monday this number rose significantly to 270 within a 24 hour period
“Of these 270 patients, 145 were suffering from a minor illness which could have been treated either by an Out of Hours GP, pharmacist or with advice from NHS 24 or using online information from NHS Inform. Those with serious or life-threatening illness and injuries will always be given priority, meaning those with less serious issues may face longer waits.
“The increase in attendances at the emergency department also impacted on the hospital with 10% more admissions than normal. Typically the hospital has occupancy rates of between 70 and 80 per cent. On Monday night, with the hospital being exceptionally busy, the hospital had an occupancy rate of 87 per cent.
“Because of this surge in demand we were unable to see, assess, treat and either discharge or admit patients as quickly as we would like and regrettably a number of patients were affected by this.
“This is the beginning of winter and we really need parents and carers to carefully consider the best place for their child to be if they are unwell, in order that those requiring hospital care can receive it when needed.
“There are a range of NHS experts who are available to help when your child is ill or injured. Our Emergency Department plays an important role in that but parents should only use the emergency department when it is an emergency.”