MERIDEN MP Caroline Spelman has raised concerns over the “extreme pressure” on local A&E units.
Medical director Dr Aresh Anwar at Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, who run Solihull, Heartlands and Good Hope hospitals, said their emergency departments were currently experiencing “severe” capacity problems.
Heartlands in particular has seen a 12 per cent rise in the last week in A&E cases, now treating around 350 a day which had forced the hospital to allocate extra beds.
Mrs Spelman said: “This report gives cause for concern. Local Accident and Emergency services are being stretched to the limit. What happens at Heartlands has repercussions for people living in Solihull borough as Solihull Hospital is also part of the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust.”
Mrs Spelman added she was very keen to keep Solihull’s walk-in centre, under threat of closure, open to help ease the pressure.
But it appears the health trust are now back-pedalling on its own claims that the emergency departments are under “extreme pressure” from increased demand, due in part to difficulties discharging patients.
Surraya Ayshea Richards, head of communications, told the Solihull News this week, there had in fact been no significant increase in demand.
“It’s just continued over since Christmas. In terms of figures, we’re not actually seeing more people come through the door.
“The numbers are fairly stable and quite normal for this time. We’re just seeing more non-emergencies.”
Anyone with minor injuries or ailments is urged to visit their GP, local walk-in centre or call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47.