Now the trust, which runs King’s Mill and Mansfield Community hospitals, has urged residents to ‘think carefully’ before visiting its A&E after usage figures spiked last month.
NHS England figures show a total of 11,707 patients visited the emergency care departments at the trust in March – a rise of 30 per cent on the 8,986 visits recorded during February and 13 per cent more than the 10,366 patients seen in March the previous year.
The majority of attendances last month were via major A&E departments – those with full resuscitation equipment and 24-hour consultant-led care – while 30 per cent were via minor injury units.
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Chief operating officer for Sherwood Forest Hospitals, Simon Barton, said: “We have seen an increase in patients visiting our Emergency Department in the last month, this has mainly been from patients with more minor illnesses and injuries.
"Some of this is to be expected as lockdown restrictions ease and people become more active once more.
"We continue to encourage people to use the right services to help us help them – we are here for anybody who really needs us.
"However, we want people to think carefully before visiting the Emergency Department.
“The Emergency Department is designed for people with serious and life-threatening injuries, or those people showing signs of being very ill.
"Priority is given to these patients, and our colleagues are specially trained to provide life-saving care and treatment 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”
Further NHS data released shows that 94 per cent of arrivals were seen within four hours – against an NHS target of 95 per cent.
A total of 67 patients waited longer than four hours for treatment following a decision to admit – of those, only two were delayed by more than 12 hours.
Mr Barton paid tribute to the work of his colleagues for making sure patients are treated in a ‘timely and safe way’.
“We continue to work hard with our healthcare partners to ensure that patients are seen in a timely and safe way, with Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust scoring 10th out of 117 trusts for lowest emergency care waiting times for March 2021,” he said.
"For the last three years the trust has consistently achieved within the top 20 lowest waits for our patients.
"This has been down to a lot of commitment from the colleagues who work at King’s Mill Hospital, Newark Hospital and Mansfield Community Hospital and we are very proud of the emergency care waiting times offered to patients.
“Despite the pandemic, in the last year 95 per cent of patients who came to our emergency department were seen and treated within four hours, with only four per cent of ambulances being delayed more than thirty minutes.
"This is thanks to our brilliant colleagues and partners across the Nottinghamshire healthcare system who have all worked together to make this possible.”