Think twice before going to A&E
People in Worcestershire are being advised that, unless they have a life threatening condition, they should not go to A&E.
Over 780 people visited Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust A&E departments on Saturday and Sunday. The Worcestershire Royal Hospital is particularly busy, with significantly higher numbers than normal for this time of year.
Patients are being encouraged to contact their own GP, visit their local pharmacist or dial 111 for advice and support about alternative services, such as Minor Injury Units in Malvern, Evesham, Kidderminster, Tenbury or Bromsgrove.
The county’s three NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups (NHS Redditch and Bromsgrove, NHS South Worcestershire and NHS Wyre Forest) and Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, who run the county’s A&E departments, are urging the public to know their options and choose their health services wisely.
More information about choosing the right health service at the right time, as well as where people can access services, can be found on www.isaandeforme.com
Rab McEwan, Interim Chief Operating Officer at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “The Accident and Emergency departments at both our hospitals have been extremely busy this weekend and we have experienced the highest number of attendances since November 2014.
“Despite this sudden increase our staff did a fantastic job, ensuring all patients were seen and treated as quickly as possible as we inevitably saw over-crowding in our A&E departments. We are working hard to understand the reasons behind this sudden surge..”
Jo Galloway, Chief Nursing Officer for NHS Redditch and Bromsgrove and Wyre Forest Clinical Commissioning Groups, said: “Demand on A&E has increased at the Worcestershire Acute Hospital NHS Trust over the weekend, so it is important that patients stop and think: does this injury or illness really require attendance at A&E?
“Many minor health problems and complaints such as muscular, minor sports injuries can be solved with self-care. Unnecessary trips to A&E not only put a strain on NHS resources but also put lives at risk.
“Patients with a wide range of minor injuries which do not require a visit to A&E (such as cuts, wounds, sprains, strains and minor burns) can also be treated at Minor Injury Units at Bromsgrove, Evesham, Kidderminster, Malvern and Tenbury. To find out the opening hours of your local Minor Injury Unit visit www.worcestershire.nhs.uk.”
Please remember that A&E is for emergency and life-threatening conditions only. Below is a list of health care options available across Worcestershire, which could offer more appropriate and quicker treatment:
Many minor complaints such as coughs and colds can be treated by staying at home, getting plenty of rest and making sure you have a well-stocked medicine cabinet.
Your local community Pharmacy
Your local pharmacist can give expert, confidential advice or medicines for minor ailments such as coughs and colds, tummy troubles and much more.
Call NHS 111 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for fast, free medical advice when it's not an emergency. This can include arranging an out-of-hours GP appointment.
GPs can help you with many health problems and complaints and can provide a wide range of family health services. Contact your GP for an appointment before attending A&E. If you are not registered with a GP visit www.nhs.uk to find a surgery in your area.
Minor Injury Units
Minor Injury Units (MIUs) offer fast, convenient and expert care for minor conditions including cuts, grazes, sprains and burns. Waiting times are on average 20 minutes.
There are five MIUs across Worcestershire:
Bromsgrove - Princess of Wales Community Hospital, Stourbridge Road, Bromsgrove, B61 0BB
Evesham - Evesham Community Hospital, Waterside, Evesham, WR11 1JT
Kidderminster – Kidderminster Hospital, Bewdley Road, Kidderminster, DY11 6RJ
Malvern - Malvern Community Hospital, 185 Worcester Road, WR14 1EX
Tenbury – Tenbury Community Hospital, Worcester Road, Tenbury Wells, WR15 8AP