Open letter from Manchester doctors urging public to avoid under pressure A&Es
Leading medics have pleaded for people to go to GPs, pharmacies or phone the NHS 111 service
In an open letter to MEN readers, doctors from Manchester are asking people to support hospitals and staff at a time of ‘unprecedented demand’ on services.
The letter states: “We’re taking the unusual step of writing a joint letter to ask for your help and support.
“The pressures facing A&E departments at the moment have been widely documented and most people will know that this has been a time of unprecedented demand on services.
“This is partly due to the time of year and winter illness - and also the effects of hardship in areas of deprivation.
“On a wider level, Manchester is also following a national pattern of people living longer. This, of course, is welcome news. With this change, however, the city also faces the twin challenges of an ageing population and an increase in people living with complex or multiple health conditions.
“Essentially it means that people are getting more ill than 50 years ago - when they would not have been able to live with a serious or long-term condition.
“We all need to adapt to this changing society. An immediate way of helping the health service to cope with the extra demand is by choosing the right service for your health needs.
“Without doubt, A&E is the right place for serious or emergency care. But, if it is something your GP can deal with, please remember that same-day, urgent consultations are available.
“And even when your practice is closed you can still ring their number to get advice on how to see an out-of-hours GP. Alternatively you can also get speak to some on the NHS national 111 service.
“In addition, many pharmacies in Manchester now offer confidential consultations on a wide range of minor conditions including winter illnesses like earache, colds and high temperatures.
“No appointments are needed for a consultation. The pharmacist can give the same medicines a GP would prescribe for these conditions - and if you are entitled to a free prescription there is no payment.
“Health pressures won’t be eased overnight - but choosing the right service is one of the areas we can all have an effect on.
“Thank you for reading this and working with all the staff who are doing their utmost to provide the best care possible.
Dr Michael Eeckelaers, Chair of Central Manchester Clinical Commissioning Group
Dr Bill Tamkin, Chair of South Manchester Clinical Commissioning Group
Dr Martin Whiting, Chief Clinical Officer, North Manchester Clinical Commissioning Group
David Regan, Director of Public Health Manchester
Dr John Crampton, Medical Director, University Hospital of South Manchester (UHSM)NHS FT
Dr Anton Sinniah, Deputy Medical Director, The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust
Professor Robert Pearson, Medical Director, Central Manchester University
Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CMFT)
For more information about health services available, go to: choosewellmanchester.org.uk
This letter was published in the Manchester Evening News on January 17th 2015 http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/health/top-docs-urge-public-avoid-8463606