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George Eliot Hospital reminds patients to make the right choice before visiting A&E

Accident and emergency department

George Eliot Hospital would like to remind local residents that there are other NHS services which can help with urgent care this winter.

The plea comes after increases in demand have been seen at the George Eliot Hospital.  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.”

George Eliot Hospital suggestions include:

PHARMACY: Your pharmacy can provide confidential, expert advice and treatment for a range of common illnesses and complaints without having to wait for a GP appointment. Find your nearest at www.nhs.uk  

NHS111: This service is for when it’s urgent but not an emergency.  By dialling 111 the caller will be given advice on where they can get the quickest help depending on the symptoms.  NHS111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free.

YOUR GP: For an injury or illness that won’t go away, your GP practice has trained professionals who can advise you.  This is particularly important if you suffer from an underlying health condition.  Dealing with illness early can prevent any trips to hospital.

WALK IN CENTRES / URGENT CARE CENTRES / MINOR INJURIES UNITS: are for conditions such as sprains, suspected breaks and fractures, allergies and wounds that require stitches.  Find your nearest at www.nhs.uk  

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