Help us to care for those patients in most need by choosing the right NHS service. If you have a minor accident or illness, please don’t assume that A&E is the right place to go.
Hospitals can get especially busy during winter, when viruses such as flu and norovirus are circulating, and slips and trips are common. Choosing the right NHS service will not only help ease the pressure on A&E staff but may also result in quicker treatment.
Dr Karen Stone, Interim Medical Director at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, said:
“A&E departments are for life-threatening and emergency conditions, such as heart attacks, strokes, breathing problems and serious accidents. We need to make sure that A&E services are free to help the people who really need them.
“Up to one out of every four people who go to A&E could have either self-treated or used an alternative local service, avoiding what can be a stressful visit to hospital.
“We’re asking people to think carefully about whether A&E is really the best place for their condition.”
Choking, chest pain, blacking out, blood loss and fractures are all considered emergencies, and those with symptoms like this should not hesitate to visit A&E.
Minor accidents and illnesses that don’t need emergency treatment include cuts, sprains and rashes. People with this type of injury should visit their local walk in centre or minor injuries unit where they will be seen by a doctor or nurse. Appointments aren’t needed and these services can treat and offer help and advice about a wide range of non-urgent conditions. You can also get advice from NHS 111.
For details of your local walk in centre and minor injuries unit visit the NHS Choices website.
In many instances, pharmacies are a good choice. Pharmacists can help give advice and over-the-counter remedies for diarrhoea, minor infections, headaches, coughs and colds, as well as selling bandages and supports for minor twists and sprains.
Anyone who is unsure on the best course of action can always ring NHS 111 for health advice 24 hours a day, seven days a week.