City's relegation woes hit A&E

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital's A&E department felt the brunt of Norwich City's relegation sorrow on Sunday as unprecedented numbers of people used the emergency service after the game.

Numbers attending the Norwich A&E rocketed at 5pm with one new patient arriving every three minutes when there would normally only be one new patient arriving every six minutes.

The A&E surge took place over a period of two hours from 5pm onwards on Sunday. Most of the post-match attenders were men aged 35-plus, making up 56% of the A&E attenders. Women aged 44 or over made up the rest of the total in a challenging afternoon for A&E nurses and doctors.

The region's busiest A&E department last year treated 68,675 patients and has seen a near 10 per cent rise in attendances over the past 12 months. Sunday saw 233 people visit A&E and only 201 visited the department the Sunday before.

The main reasons for attending A&E on Sunday included people who knew they had health problems on Friday and Saturday but who wanted to wait until the big match was over. Others had chest pain symptoms, and alcohol will have played a large part in some of the limb or head injuries, falls, and assaults.

Senior nurse manager Mandy Lees: “Anyone who's ever worked in an A&E unit knows that it will be quiet during a big football match but after the Norwich game ended it was frantically busy, much more so than normal. It really was a mad day for us and our staff coped tremendously well.

“Some patients said they'd had a health problem for 48 hours or so and had decided to leave it until after the game. We'd stress that if people have been having a health problem for a while they should do something about it sooner rather than later and can always contact a family doctor 24 hours a day, every day of the week.”

Despite a Sunday relegation surge that saw 16% more patients attending A&E compared to the previous Sunday, the A&E team met the Government's strict waiting time target with 98.3 per cent of people seen, treated, discharged or admitted within four hours.





Monday 16th of May 2005 02:00:27 PM