Professor Cheryl Lenney, Group Chief Nurse at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust said:

“Our hospitals, like many others across the country, are experiencing increased pressures in their Accident and Emergency Departments (A&E).

“Patient safety is our priority and staff are working incredibly hard to ensure that our A&Es at Manchester Royal Infirmary and Wythenshawe Hospital continue to prioritise and treat those patients with critical and life-threatening conditions who require emergency and urgent care.

“All of our A&E departments continue to be extremely busy and to help our specialist teams; we would ask the public for their support and to think carefully about which is the correct healthcare service to use for their condition. This will ensure that A&E departments are able to safely treat and care for those patients with serious and life threatening conditions when they urgently need it.

“We recognise that at extremely busy times like we have seen earlier this week, some patients are experiencing longer waits and we would like to apologise for the length of time they have had to wait and thank them for their understanding and support during this time.

“NHS England has recommended that hospitals delay planned, non-urgent treatment to help cope with the number of patients expected to be admitted during the busy winter period.

“Following this national guidance, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust took the difficult decision to postpone non-urgent planned procedures at Manchester Royal Infirmary and Wythenshawe Hospital, with the exception of cancer and clinically urgent cases.

“All patients affected are being contacted in advance and we are working hard to arrange alternative appointments. Patients should assume their appointment is going ahead unless they hear otherwise.

“We continue to work with health and social care partners including colleagues in primary care, community and social care services to help the flow of patients in and out of our hospitals.

“We would like to acknowledge and thank all staff across all our services who are working very hard to keep our patients safe and well this winter.

Before going to Accident and Emergency, think about whether you should visit:

  • A pharmacy – visiting your pharmacist can be a quick way of accessing medical help and advice. You don’t need an appointment and you can speak to your pharmacist in private and in confidence
  • Your GP – visit your GP if you or a family member has a condition that your pharmacist cannot treat, or for diagnosis and treatment of illnesses, prescriptions, medical examinations, and referral to specialist services
  • A walk-in service – you do not need an appointment to visit an urgent care centre, minor injuries unit or walk-in centre
  • A dentist – emergency dental care services are available for those in pain requiring emergency treatment

If you’re not sure where to go call NHS 111 for advice 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It is free to call from landlines and mobiles.