Record numbers at A&E after ‘Black Ice Friday’

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Hospital staff have been praised for rallying round after being faced with record numbers of patients.

The Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Trust said last Friday’s icy conditions resulted in 700 casualties to its A&E departments.

Previously, the highest in a single day had been around 500.

Both departments at the Halifax and Huddersfield hospitals were kept extremely busy caring for people who fell in the treacherous conditions.

Off-duty nurses were called in and staff were transferred to A&E to cope with the deluge.

Fractures to wrists and ankles, head and back injuries were numerous along with sprains.

Clinical head of A&E Mark Davies said: “Our staff pulled out all the stops.

“It was simply treacherous and I am proud of the way the whole Trust rallied to help.”

The West Yorkshire Ambulance Service also dealt with unprecedented numbers of calls with nine times the number of falls needing an emergency response - 221 when only 25 would normally be expected.

Dr Alison Walker, Executive Medical Director at the Trust, said due to the unprecedented demand the service activated its Major Incident Plan which included using the non-emergency Patient Transport Service to assist the A&E Service.

Western Area Roads Police Sgt Richard Lyon said it was an extremely busy day on the roads.

“There was an awful lot of collisions, fortunately, all relatively minor.

“Normally, we might come into work with five or six open jobs, but that morning we came into 27 and then there were more on top of that.

“We were very lucky to have no serious accidents.”