QA sees a small rise in patients over bank holiday

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FIGURES released by the NHS show that there was a slight increase in patients attending A&E in Portsmouth over the bank holiday weekend.

There had been concerns nationally that problems with the new 111 non-emergency helpline could see scores of patients turning up at hospitals across the country.

But at the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham, there was only a slight increase on the same weekend last year.

Numbers rose by between 11 and 14 per cent over the three days compared to last year.

There were 270 patients on Saturday, 329 on Sunday and 321 on Monday – an increase from last year when there were 239, 290, and 277 people on those days respectively.

Across the country there have already been complaints about the new 11 number, with some saying calls were going unanswered and poor advice was being given.

NHS England said the weekend passed without any major problems.

Chief nursing officer Jane Cummings said more than 100,000 rang 111 for help over the weekend across the country and the early signs suggested improvements had been made.

She said: ‘We need to look at individual cases where perhaps advice was incorrect or not as good as we would have wanted it to be.

‘But I think overall the message we are getting is that while in some places there is still some way to go, it is better.’