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Sharp rise in number of patients at Children's Emergency Department

Published 15/02/2016

Doctors in the Emergency Department at Derbyshire Children’s Hospital have urged patients to consider alternative health services if their children have minor illnesses or injuries, after a sharp rise in the number of patients seeking treatment.

Staff working in the department have seen a rise of almost 30 per cent in the number of patients coming through the door in February, compared with the same period last year. The number of patients attending in January was 18 per cent higher than the same time last year. 

But not all of these children need emergency care, and doctors are now calling for parents to think carefully about whether they need to come to the department before heading out.  

Consultant Paediatrician Dr Ian Lewins said: “We are seeing very high numbers of patients at the moment, and not all of these patients need the specialist emergency care which we provide. Many can be seen by a GP or pharmacist, or at the Derby Urgent Care Centre.

“I would urge parents to think about the other healthcare options which are available before bringing their children to the emergency department with minor illnesses and injuries. We are here to treat very poorly children and we will do everything we can to help those children, but we should only be used for emergencies.

“Please use the live waiting times displayed on our website, which show how long you may have to wait for treatment in our emergency departments, at Derby Urgent Care Centre, and at Minor Injuries Units in the county.”


The adult A&E department has also experienced a rise in numbers, with almost 10 per cent more patients in January 2016 than January 2015.

Anyone who is unsure which healthcare option to choose should contact NHS 111.

Information about live waiting times for the emergency departments can be seen at: http://www.derbyhospitals.nhs.uk/about/live-wait-times/

Last Modified 16/02/2016