A&E? For some patients, there are alternatives for less serious or minor problems

Professor Matthew Makin - Medical Director
A&E? For some patients, there are alternatives for less serious or minor problems
11 January 2017

Prof Matt Makin, Medical Director at The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust said:

“Last year we saw over a third of a million patients requiring urgent care across our hospitals. Our A&E departments have continued to face real pressures throughout the year and we know demand on our services further increases over winter.

“We always aim to see and treat patients attending our three emergency departments and urgent care centre as quickly as possible and provide them with the best possible care.

“Like most Trusts across the country, we are finding this a challenge due to the flow of patients in and out of hospitals and the large numbers of admissions of patients, particularly those who are elderly and with complex and chronic health conditions. Patient safety remains our priority and our staff are working extremely hard to triage and treat those with serious conditions, those who require urgent attention, and critically ill patients brought in by ambulance as a priority. We are sorry that some patients have to wait longer than we would like to be seen by a doctor and also those who are waiting to be admitted and taken to the ward.

“We continue to work closely as a local healthcare system with our NHS primary care, community care and social care colleagues to speed up treatment, admission and discharge times for our patients. We are working hard to improve our performance, reduce waiting times and find ways to manage the demands on our services.

“For some patients, there are alternatives for less serious or minor problems, including your GP and out-of-hours doctor and primary care support, local community pharmacies and the freephone NHS 111 number. These can all direct you to the most appropriate care quickly and efficiently.”

Stay well this winter

Winter conditions can be seriously bad for our health, especially for people aged 65 or older, and people with long-term conditions such as COPD, bronchitis, emphysema, asthma, diabetes or heart or kidney disease.

Being cold can raise the risk of increased blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes. The cold and damp weather, ice, snow and high winds can all aggravate any existing health problems and make us more vulnerable to respiratory winter illnesses.

But there are lots of things you can do to stay well this winter.

At the first sign of a winter illness, even if it’s just a cough or cold, get advice from your pharmacist, before it gets more serious. Act quickly. The sooner you get advice from a pharmacist the better. Pharmacists are fully qualified to advise you on the best course of action.

This can be the best and quickest way to help you recover and get back to normal. If you can’t get to a pharmacist yourself, ask someone to go for you or call your local pharmacy.

More information can be found on our website here:

http://www.pat.nhs.uk/patients-and-visitors/stay-well-this-winter.htm