THE boss of Russells Hall Hospital in Dudley has thanked members of the public for their help and patience after a day which saw A&E staff trying to cope with the department’s biggest admissions crisis in four years.

Emergency action plans were put into place and patients were warned they faced many hours waiting for treatment as staff attempted to deal with unusually high numbers of admissions today (Thursday).

But in the last few minutes - Paula Clark, chief executive of the Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust, has issued a statement saying the problem has eased somewhat.

She said: “We would like to thank our patients and partners across the health economy for helping us manage the pressures placed upon our Accident and Emergency Department today.

“The capacity situation at Russells Hall Hospital remains fragile but we have been able to de-escalate the situation.”

She said earlier that the hospital had been “experiencing high levels of emergency admissions since the middle of December” and that capacity issues had come to a head today – prompting the Trust call for ambulances to be diverted away from Russells Hall and for only patients facing life-threatening conditions to attend A&E.

But she stressed the crisis was not down to staffing issues.

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