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Know your health care options - Keep A&E for those who really need it

27 November 2017

People in Worcestershire are being urged to be aware of all their health care options and, unless they have a serious or life-threatening condition, find an alternative to Accident and Emergency (A&E).

The Emergency Departments at Worcestershire Royal Hospital and the Alexandra Hospital have been exceptionally busy over the weekend, and continue to see high numbers of attendances.

The public is being advised during this busy time, to understand what options are available to them and choose alternative services to A&E where possible. Choosing the right health care option for you allows us to treat the most seriously ill patients as quickly as possible.

Other suitable alternatively include; contacting your GP, visiting your local pharmacist, dialling 111 for advice and support about alternative services, or visiting Minor Injuries Units in Bromsgrove, Evesham, Kidderminster, Malvern or Tenbury.

As some ward areas have had to be closed for infection prevention and control precautions, the public is also asked to avoid visiting hospital if they, or a family member, have had diarrhoea, vomiting or ‘flu-like’ symptoms in the last 48 hours to help prevent the spread of infection.

Please remember that A&E is for serious and life-threatening conditions only. Below is a full list of health care options available across Worcestershire, which could offer more appropriate and quicker treatment:

Self-care

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.

NHS 111

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.

GP services

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 here are around 20 minutes on average.

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

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