The Trust is urging local people to keep safe and ensure the Emergency Departments (A&E) are kept free for only those people who really need it. It is vital that patients remember Emergency Departments are for serious or life-threatening situations, including:
- Severe chest pain
- Suspected heart attack or stroke
- Suspected meningitis
- Injuries such as fractures or major burns
- Breathing difficulties
- Heavy or uncontrolled bleeding
- Suspected drug overdose
- Sudden and severe headaches
- Severe head injuries.
Patients who do not need to come to the Emergency Department with minor illnesses could be better treated by alternative health services, e.g. GP, pharmacist, dentist, walk in centres, minor injury units or NHS 111.
It is estimated that around 1,250 patients a month come to the Trust’s two Emergency Departments with complaints that should be treated by another part of the health service. The most common reasons in addition to minor illness, are bites and stings, dental problems and back pain which can all be treated by alternative services.
Amy Collis Head of Nursing for Urgent Care said: “It’s really important, especially over a Bank Holiday weekend, that local people help us to keep Emergency Department free for those people who require emergency treatment. Emergency Department doctors and nurses will continue to prioritise those patients who urgently require our help and work with those patients who come to the department with minor illnesses to find the most appropriate service.”