Snow injuries for NHS4th February 2009
Hospitals say they have seen an increase in the number of injuries from falls because of the snow.
The increase has seen the NHS put under further pressure with many trusts postponing non-urgent surgery during the severe winter weather.
The Department of Health has stressed it was important for everyone to think responsibly about using NHS resources.
Dr Charles Gutteridge, medical director of the Barts and The London NHS Trust, said: "We've seen a dramatic increase in people with simple strains and minor fractures of the ankle, elbow, forearm and shoulder.
"We haven't seen much major trauma. And I think that's because on the whole people are staying at home. The ones we have seen slipped while walking to work."
Sites across Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Hampshire say their emergency departments were busy with minor injuries while West Midlands Ambulance Service said more than a quarter of the calls it received were because of falls and snow had led to a 10% increase in calls across the region.
Worst affected areas were Birmingham, Staffordshire and Shropshire.
NHS East Midlands said it experienced similar pressures but staff were coping with the increased demand.
NHS South West, which covers Cornwall, Devon, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Somerset, said trusts in its area were working hard to target resources where they were most needed.
"Staff are making extraordinary efforts to travel or are swapping shifts to provide cover where necessary", said a spokesman.
Trusts in Yorkshire and the Humber and the North East said their services coped well.
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Title: Snow injuries for NHS
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 10044
Date Added: 4th Feb 2009