Health officials across Warwickshire North are urging people to help Accident and Emergency departments cope with ever increasing demand by not turning up unnecessarily.
The plea comes after increases in demand have been seen at the George Eliot Hospital. And the rise has led to renewed calls for people to make sure they access the right health service – and if they are not sure then to see their pharmacist or call the freephone NHS 111 service for advice
Gordon Wood, Medical Director, George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust said: “All health services are under more pressure over winter and we have recently seen an increase of patients through our urgent and emergency care services. This has led to increased waiting times for patients in the emergency department. 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.
“We would urge the public to consider using other NHS services such as NHS 111, pharmacists or walk in centres before attending A&E unless it’s an urgent or life threatening situation. We’re also asking people who take regular medicines to remember to order repeat prescriptions from their GP.”
Dr Deryth Stevens, Chair of NHS Warwickshire North Clinical Commissioning Group, urged people to play their part and help the NHS by only attending A&E when it was really necessary.
She said: “While emergency care will always be available to people who need it, we would encourage the public to think carefully about whether they need an Emergency Department and to use other NHS services if they can.
“The best advice if you are not sure is to call 111 anytime of the day or night and speak to a trained professional who will be able to give you advice on what health service you should go to. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones.”