Enquiries: 01305 251150

Updated 27 April 2023

We have now stepped down our critical incident status, but are still appealing for the public to help us. Read more.


29 December 2022

Dorset County Hospital has declared a critical incident due to the extreme operational pressures following the Christmas bank holidays.

The number of admissions is exceeding the number of patients being discharged and we are also faced with staffing issues. Declaring a critical incident allows us to take additional steps to maintain safe services for our patients and help us cope with the growing pressures.

Our focus is making sure our patients are safe and that we keep our critical services running. We are working with our system partners within the NHS and social care to see how they can assist us with patient flow and discharge.

The public can also help us in the following ways:

  • Only ever call 999 in the event of a serious or life-threatening emergency
  • Visit 111.nhs.uk or call 111 if you need urgent medical help and aren't sure what to do
  • Be ready to collect your family or loved ones from hospital as soon as they are medically well-enough to leave. Hospital is no longer the best place to be once someone is ready to leave
  • Do not come to our Emergency Department with minor injuries, as you will be signposted elsewhere. Minor Injuries Units are available to help with urgent care needs. Visit www.dorsethealthcare.nhs.uk/miu for more information on where they are and when to use them
  • Use your local pharmacy if you are able to - they can help with a range of minor health issues including colds, skin problems and earaches

Elective procedures and outpatients appointments are currently still going ahead but are under constant review. If you have an appointment with us, please attend as planned unless we contact you directly. We are monitoring this situation very closely.

As always, we remain committed to providing the best possible care for our patients and we thank you for your support and understanding at this challenging time.