THE Dudley Group has confirmed the critical incident status declared regarding patient care at Russells Hall Hospital has now been lifted.

The trust told how “severe pressures” were affecting care and treatment at the Dudley borough’s main hospital – telling of long delays in the emergency department and in patients being allocated beds on the wards.

But trust bosses have now confirmed the situation has started to ease.

Diane Wake, chief executive at the Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are pleased to confirm that the service pressures we have experienced over the last 24-hours, have started to ease.

“Our NHS staff and care partners have continued to work tirelessly to maintain services and keep our patients safe under these challenging circumstances.

“We are grateful to everyone who has taken steps to help relieve the pressure, and we would like to thank our incredible teams across the health and social care sector for their efforts.

“However, we are still seeing significant demand upon all our services across the trust, including a high number of patients waiting for treatment in our emergency department. Our main focus continues to be providing care for patients who need urgent or emergency care, and those who are receiving inpatient care in our clinical sites.

“Patients and members of the public will continue to be asked to use our services wisely to ensure those patients with the greatest need can access care and support. If people need medical help, we would ask them to visit NHS111 online or use a service in the local area such as a local pharmacist or GP.”