Derbyshire health and care system declares critical incident

Due to the significant and sustained demand for a number of services, the Derbyshire health and care system has declared a critical incident and is taking additional steps to prioritise and maintain safe services for patients.

We continue to see an increased number of patients arriving at hospital by ambulance, extended waiting times to access beds in our hospitals and difficulties discharging patients due to lack of capacity across our care sector.

Our aim is to prioritise patients with the highest level of need and ensure that we continue to be able to manage emergency care. This means that we will need to postpone some non-urgent operations where patients require a stay in hospital to accommodate those patients with the most urgent clinical need.

We are very sorry we have had to take this step but it is important that we focus on patients needing urgent and emergency care. If you are not contacted directly, please continue to attend your appointment.

Health and care services continue to work together to resolve the situation, and there are steps you can take to help.

What you 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 and the changes highlighted, essential services remain fully open for anyone who needs them, so if you require urgent medical help, please continue to come forward.

Other things you 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 you need urgent medical care but it’s not an emergency, please visit NHS 111 online or call NHS111 for advice on how to get the care you need at any time of day or night.
  • Urgent treatment centres – like the ones at Florence Nightingale, Ilkeston, Ripley, Samuel Johnson and Robert Peel Community Hospitals – can help you get the care you need for dealing with the most common issues that people attend emergency departments for. They will often be able to help you get the care you need more quickly than accident and emergency departments if you are suffering from things like a burn or a sprain.
  • For other non-urgent cases, when you need medical advice and it’s not an emergency, please 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 you cannot make any NHS appointment, please contact the number on your appointment letter so that it can be reallocated to another patient.

Services are also expecting to see an after effect from the recent record high temperatures, with exacerbations of respiratory illnesses, so there may be further measures introduced in the coming days to ensure we can maintain urgent care for the most acutely ill patients. If you know someone who has an existing respiratory condition, please check on them to ensure they are okay and not suffering from additional wheeziness or shortness of breath. If you have or know someone who has these symptoms, please contact NHS 111 to seek clinical advice. It is essential that you receive treatment early and seek to prevent an admission to hospital.