The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Emergency Departments in Leeds are extremely busy

7 June 2021

The Emergency Departments at Leeds General Infirmary and St James’s Hospital are currently extremely busy, with much larger numbers of patients presenting than usual.

The teams have seen an increase in patients attending with illnesses and injuries that are not an emergency and could be treated at a minor injuries unit or with over the counter medicine from a pharmacist.

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (LTHT) is encouraging people to call NHS 111 if in doubt about the service they need and are asking patients to consider alternatives that might offer more appropriate care options.

By calling NHS 111, people can make an appointment to attend urgent treatment centres and minor injuries units in Leeds. This includes the Shakespeare Medical Centre in Burmantofts, St George’s Urgent Treatment Centre in Middleton and Wharfedale Urgent Treatment Centre in Otley. The urgent treatment centres in Middleton and Otley can do x-rays, carry out urine tests and provide prescriptions for minor illnesses.

Dr Stephen Bush, Medical Director for Unplanned Care at LTHT said: “Our Emergency Departments (EDs) at the LGI and St James’s have seen extremely high numbers of patients over the past week and this has continued today. Although many of the people attending do require the urgent care provided by our emergency specialists, a number of people are attending with non-threatening, long-standing conditions and minor injuries. By seeking alternative care for these types of conditions, you will be helping our highly-trained urgent care staff treat the sickest patients that only they can care for.”

He added: “We are working closely with our partners in primary and secondary care to ensure patients are in the best place for the care they need. If you’re not sure where to go for help visit the 111 website, and follow the prompts on-screen, which will point you to the right medical service for your needs. You can also call 111 from your phone when it’s urgent, but not a health emergency. This is also the number to call if you have a minor injury – such as a cut, sprain, burn or if you think you’ve broken a bone – as you’ll be able to get an appointment at an urgent treatment centre or minor injuries unit.”

People presenting at the Emergency Departments who do not need to be seen urgently and could have used more appropriate NHS services elsewhere may wait a long time before being seen.