6th Dec, 2016

Hospital chiefs urge people not to waste A&E's time

Stratford Editorial 15th Dec, 2015 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

HOSPITAL bosses are urging people not to waste their time with unnecessary visits to A&E.

It follows an exceptionally busy weekend which saw over 600 people visit Warwick Hospital A&E with minor injuries or complaints – many of which could have been treated by visiting a pharmacy or by calling the NHS 111 hotline. The number of people seeking medical attention at A&E rocketed by 60 per cent on the average.

NHS South Warwickshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust (SWFT) are urging people to help their local A&E department cope during the busy winter period when viruses spread more quickly..

SWFT NHS Foundation Trust director of nursing Helen Lancaster said: “All health services are under more pressure over winter so we want people to think before they go to A&E or call 999. These services need to be free to deal with real emergencies and should only be used in genuine emergency situations.”

“The kind of serious accidents and emergencies that should been treated at A&E include unconsciousness, heavy blood loss, suspected heart attacks and strokes, and broken bones.

Dr David Spraggett, Chair of NHS South Warwickshire CCG, said people needed to think before simply going to A&E.

He added: “Those with a cold or flu or symptoms of diarrhoea and vomiting, should visit their pharmacist, who will be able to advise and offer appropriate medication.”

A range of other health services are available including GP services, pharmacies, and also the NHS 111 hotline where advice is available on the best course of action.

The CCG’s Health Services Sat Nav mobile app can also help residents find nearby services and can be downloaded for free via iTunes or Google Play.

* PEOPLE eligible for a free NHS flu vaccination are being urged to book an appointment.

So far this year, fewer people have been vaccinated than this time last year. Only just over one third of eligible adults and children with a chronic health condition have received their vaccination so far this year.

A similar proportion of pregnant women have received their vaccination, and less than one third of children aged two to four years have had their vaccine.

Visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk/flu for further details.