Derby and Derbyshire stands down critical incident – significant pressure remains

Updated 1700hrs, Monday 25th July 2022

The Derbyshire health and care system has taken the decision to stand down the critical incident that was called last week. This is after identified actions had been deployed and had seen reductions in pressure in some services. Services remain under sustained pressure, and patients and members of the public continue to be asked to use services wisely to ensure those patients with the greatest need can access care and support.

The critical incident was called on Wednesday 20th July due to the significant and sustained demand for urgent and emergency care services. This allowed additional steps to be taken prioritise and maintain safe services for patients, including the cancellation of non-urgent operations, the additional purchasing of care homes beds in the community to support hospital discharge and the movement of senior clinical staff to support care reviews across services. 

Dr Chris Weiner, Executive Medical Director for NHS Derby and Derbyshire, and strategic gold commander for the incident, said:

“Services will continue to prioritise patients with the highest level of need and ensure that we can safely manage emergency care. We are still facing significant pressure across the health and care system, although this has reduced somewhat since last Wednesday and enabled us to stand down the critical incident.”

“Despite an improvement in waiting times for ambulances, hospital bed admissions and discharges, staff at the front line remain under significant and sustained pressure in their efforts to provide safe care. We are grateful to everyone who has taken steps to help relieve the pressure, and continue to praise our incredible teams across the health and social care sector for their efforts in keeping our citizens safe.”

“It is very important that we look to longer-term solutions to the contributors to this incident; we know the pressure is not going to fully abate and we can see the challenging winter period on the horizon, with the oncoming flu season, a further possible wave of Covid-19 infection and other winter illnesses such as norovirus. These will all add to the existing pressure facing services, and we must find longer term solutions to managing demand and bolstering our health and workforce.”

We are very sorry to all of our patients who had had their operation cancelled in this week. We know it can be a worrying time ahead of surgery, and we want to reassure everyone affected that we haven’t taken these decisions lightly. We will be in contact with patients who’ve had their operation postponed to rearrange it as soon as possible.”

Health and care services continue to work together to manage the pressure, and there remain a range of steps everyone can take to help:

Critical incident: how the public can do to help

Our teams continue to work exceptionally hard and we would like to reassure our patients and the public that despite the challenges faced, essential services remain fully open for anyone who needs them so if you require urgent medical help, you should continue to come forward.

Other things which everyone can do to help the NHS right now, include:

  • Only call 999 or attend accident and emergency departments for serious accidents and for genuine emergencies.
  • When needing urgent medical care but it’s not an emergency, visit NHS 111 onlineor call NHS111 for advice on how to get care at any time of day or night.
  • Urgent treatment centres – like the ones at Osmaston Road in Derby, Ilkeston, Ripley, Darley Dale, Buxton, Samuel Johnson and Robert Peel Community Hospitals – can help get the care needed for dealing with the most common issues that people attend emergency departments for. They will often be able to help get the care needed more quickly than accident and emergency departments if suffering from things like a burn or a sprain.
  • For other non-urgent cases when needing medical advice and it’s not an emergency, speak to your GP practice or a pharmacist.
  • Please continue to treat all NHS and care staff with the respect they deserve. Our hard-working staff and volunteers are doing all they can to keep patients safe and supported.
  • If unable to make any NHS appointment, please contact the number on appointment letters so that it can be reallocated to another patient.
  • Check on neighbours and friends and family who has have an existing respiratory condition, to ensure they are okay and not suffering from additional wheeziness or shortness of breath following the heatwave. Ensure they are following their care plan with medication, inhalers and oxygen support, and contact NHS 111 to seek clinical advice. It is essential that they receive treatment early and seek to prevent an admission to hospital.

There is a range of other steps the community can take at this time help the NHS, and further information is available at