'Busy' Watford A&E turns away patients with minor ailments

PUBLISHED: 17:33 05 January 2016 | UPDATED: 17:33 05 January 2016

St Albans City Hospital

St Albans City Hospital

Archant

Adult patients with minor ailments are currently not being treated at Watford Hospital A&E, with people being advised to visit St Albans City or Hemel Hempstead Hospitals instead.

West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust has this afternoon (Tuesday) announced that the accident and emergency department at Watford General Hospital is “unprecedentedly busy, in the post-holiday period”.

The statement continues: “To ensure our emergency care team are able to treat seriously unwell patients, we have taken the decision to stop treating adults with minor ailments.

“All patients arriving at A&E will be seen by a clinician, but if it is judged that their condition is not serious, they will be advised where else to receive treatment.”

While children’s services are unaffected, patients whose conditions are not likely to be life-threatening have a range of options.

They can visit the Urgent Care Centre at Hemel Hempstead Hospital (open 24/7) or the Minor Injuries Unit at St Albans Hospital (open 9am to 8pm).

Patients from the Pinner and Northwood area can visit the Minor Injuries Unit at Mount Vernon Hospital (open 9am to 8pm).

The statement added that the trust also wants to encourage local people to consider consulting their GP, their local pharmacy or ring NHS 111 for advice.

Alternatively, visit the NHS Choices Website to search for services such as local GPs or pharmacies.

The statement went on: “We will reassess the situation into the evening and aim to reopen adults’ Minor Injuries as soon as it is safe to do so.

“We apologise for any inconvenience. Patients who have paid for parking will be refunded.”

The Herts Advertiser understands that the A&E department at Watford hopes to return to normal services tomorrow. Updates will be put on the trust’s website: www.westhertshospitals.nhs.uk

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