FALLS on icy roads and pavements led to a 50 per cent increase in the number of people visiting hospital accident and emergency departments in Leeds today.
Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust said 310 people had visited its hospitals between midnight on Wednesday and 4.30pm today (Thurs Dec 14) as temperatures plummeted.
Medical staff dealt with patients suffering from injuries including sprains and bruising from slips, trips and falls on the ice.
While some patients made the correct decision to visit A&E, many could have been treated at minor injury units and walk in centres across Leeds or used self-care.
A trust spokeswoman said more than 4,000 people had attended the emergency departments at St James’s Hospital and Leeds General Infirmary over the past week
Hospital emergency medical staff are asking people across the city to help them manage significant pressures on A&E by considering alternative care.
Professor Suzanne Hinchliffe, chief operating officer at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “Like all hospitals across the NHS, we are experiencing very significant demand for our services, especially in our emergency departments.
“A&E at Leeds General Infirmary and St James’s are extremely busy and I would like to ask people to find alternative care, except in the case of genuine emergencies.
“If you are not seriously ill, A&E may not be the best place for you to get the treatment you need and you may wait for a long time.
“Emergency medical staff are trained to deal with the most severe and life-threatening conditions.
“By seeking alternative care, you will be helping our highly trained urgent care staff to treat the patients only they can care for.”
Treacherous driving conditions led to a road in north Leeds being closed after a crash involving seven cars just before 8.30am today.
Police said one woman was taken to hospital suffering from a suspected neck injury after cars skidding on black ice collided on Well House Crescent.