Worcestershire nurse warns of ‘A&E chaos’ as units shut

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”. 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”.

Full story BBC News, 2 January 2017