10 January 2017 – Think carefully before going to A&E
Doctors at Airedale Hospital are reminding people to think carefully before going to A&E.
The Emergency Department at the hospital has been very busy since Christmas, and there have been higher than usual admissions to its inpatient wards.
“We have had an extremely busy Christmas and New Year period, and are continuing to experience significant pressure,” explains Chief Operating Officer Stacey Hunter. “We apologise to people who have attended our Emergency Department and have had to wait longer than we would have liked due to the number of people seeking help over the last fortnight.
“We’re asking all patients to think carefully before coming to A&E. Members of the public can really help by making sure that if they do choose to come to A&E for treatment, that it is the best place for them to go to get the right care, as soon as possible. Our Emergency Department is for accidents and emergencies only, such as severe chest pain, difficulty breathing, significant head injuries and broken bones. Using an alternative to A&E when you aren’t seriously ill, such as calling NHS 111, seeing your GP or visiting your community pharmacist, could mean that you end up waiting less time to receive care.
“I’d like to pay tribute to our staff across the hospital who are working extremely hard to cope with the increased demand. Many have offered to do extra shifts and I’m proud to be working with such compassionate people.”
In addition to face-to-face GP appointments, patients registered at many practices can now book a telephone consultation with their GP. Ask your practice for more details.
For patients wanting to find information online, the NHS Choices website is available 24/7 and offers up to date and expert advice on a range of illnesses, as well details of local health services. For patients wanting advice and signposting, the NHS 111 (dial 111) service is a free helpline, available 24/7 for patients needing medical help fast when it is not a life-threatening situation.
Hospital managers have also issued a plea to visitors to help in the fight against common winter bugs and norovirus. Anyone who has had any symptoms of diarrhoea and/or vomiting should not go to A&E or visit patients in hospital until at least 48 hours after the symptoms have cleared. Also people who have coughs, colds or flu-like symptoms need to stay away from hospital as there is a significant risk that they will pass these on to vulnerable, sick patients.