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Media Statement Re. Alder Hey Emergency Department

Alder Hey Children's Hospital in LiverpoolAlder Hey Children’s Hospital has the biggest and busiest Emergency Department in Europe, seeing around 60,000 children and young people each year.

We are aware of delays for some patients in our Emergency Department at the moment.  Currently we are in our busiest period with children attending with respiratory and viral infections. This increase in demand does result in significant pressure on our service and on bed availability within the hospital. The Trust is currently working at full bed capacity but no patients are being turned away. The Trust has robust plans in place to manage these pressures which include discharging patients who are well enough to go home as quickly as possible.

At this time of year our poorliest children must understandably always be given priority. Unfortunately this means that sometimes treatment for those with less serious or no urgent conditions is delayed. Due to the pressures we are facing, some elective surgery is also being postponed as the Trust prioritises emergencies. As part of our routine winter planning we reduce elective in-patient activity to allow more capacity for emergencies and day surgery. We appreciate the patience of our parents and families during our busiest times.

Parents and carers of children with minor illnesses or injuries who don’t need to attend the Emergency Department and their parents or carers should instead consider alternative healthcare providers such as their GP, local walk in centre or pharmacy. The Trust continues to work closely with local commissioners and general practitioners to develop alternative models of care that will reduce Emergency Department attendances and ensure care is delivered in the most appropriate place.

We have maintained normal staffing levels during this busy period but have requested additional support from NHS Professionals.

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