Hereford & Worcester

Worcestershire nurse warns of 'A&E chaos' as units shut

Worcestershire Royal Hospital

The closure of several minor injury units (MIU) in Worcestershire has increased "chaos" at Accident and Emergency departments, a nurse claims.

MIUs in Bromsgrove, Tenbury and Evesham have been shut since Saturday so staff can help meet demand at the Alexandra and Worcestershire Royal hospitals.

But a nurse, who did not want to be named, said the "problem was a bed shortage" so the move had not helped.

The hospital trust said the high demand was "not caused by one single issue".

Meanwhile, Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, which runs five MIUs, said staff were supporting colleagues in A&E "which remain extremely busy".

'Less care'

However, the nurse said the Worcester and Redditch A&Es were still severely under pressure, with some patients waiting in corridors.

"No one is happy with it. The problem is a bed shortage so it is not making an iota of difference," she said.

"This is leading to more patients walking into A&E. More pressure but less care for patients," she said.

She added the A&Es were dealing with "all kinds of injuries", including broken bones from falls in icy conditions.

The nurse feared for patients having to travel much further afield after finding MIUs closed.

"If an elderly person has paid £12 in a taxi and travelled in pain only to find a unit is shut - that's horrific," she said.

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust said the decision was "strategic and managed".

"To help reduce pressures and length of wait in A&E we pulled minor injuries unit staff in to A&E to provide extra cover and better use their skills as MIUs were experiencing very low demand," a spokesman said.

He said beds' availability was among issues increasing demand, adding the focus continued to be on "safe emergency care to those who need it."

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