Health leaders are asking people suffering from minor illnesses or injuries not to use A&E after a day of record attendances.
Royal Stoke Hospital had a record 484 attendances yesterday (Mon May 22). But patients are reminded that A&E is for emergencies and they can get help for minor illnesses or injuries elsewhere.
This will allow the hospital to focus on those people with serious conditions who need to be seen urgently. Patients with non-critical illnesses will have longer waits before they can be treated, with the Minor Injuries Units at Haywood and Leek Hospitals currently having waiting times of only 30 minutes.
There are a range of alternative services available locally for non-critical conditions, including NHS 111, Minor Injuries Units, GP Out-of-Hours and walk-in centres, neighbourhood pharmacies and the NHS Choices website. A&E should only be used for the most serious and life-threatening cases.
Dr Steve Fawcett, Medical Director for Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Groups said: “There were record attendances at A&E yesterday, with large numbers of patients arriving by ambulance and by other means.
“Life-threatening conditions will always receive the highest priority, which means that other people attending A&E may have longer waiting times. Other alternatives are available for people who have less serious conditions.”
“If you are unsure of where to go for the right treatment please call NHS 111. They will direct you to the most appropriate care quickly and efficiently. Most people will also be able to get a GP appointment within 24 hours. Pharmacists can help with a wide range of minor conditions.”
As well as GPs and NHS 111, other options include: Local minor injury units and walk-in centres in North Staffordshire:
Haywood Hospital, High Lane, Burslem, Stoke-On-Trent, Staffordshire, ST6 7AG. Tel: 01782 673500 Open: 7am-10pm Monday to Friday, 9am-10pm at weekends
Leek Moorlands Hospital, Ashbourne Road, Leek, Staffordshire, ST13 5BQ. Tel: 0300 123 1894 Open every day from 8am to 8pm
Hanley Health and Wellbeing Centre, Stafford Street, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, ST1 1LW. Tel: 0300 123 6759 Open 8am-8pm seven days per week, 365 days a year
The Midway Medical Centre, The Midway, Newcastle under Lyme, ST5 1QC. Tel: 01782 663757 Open 8am-8pm seven days per week. Walk-in appointments are limited, you should call first to book an appointment
Self-care – treat minor illness and injury at home using a well-stocked stocked medicine cabinet.