DOCTORS at Airedale Hospital and Bradford Royal Infirmary are reminding people to think carefully before going to A&E.
The Emergency Departments at both hospitals are very busy, and people with less urgent issues are experiencing longer waiting times.
“Over the last two months the number of patients seeking treatment at our Emergency Department has increased considerably” explains Dr Richard Keeble, clinical director for emergency medicine at Airedale Hospital. “The most urgent and life-threatening cases take priority, which means that unfortunately people coming in with less urgent issues are experiencing longer waiting times.
“We’re asking everyone to think carefully before coming to A&E. Members of the public can really help by making sure that if they do choose to come to A&E for treatment, that it is the best place for them to go to get the right care, as soon as possible. Our Emergency Department is for accidents and emergencies only, such as severe chest pain, difficulty breathing, significant head injuries and broken bones.
“Using an alternative to A&E when you aren’t seriously ill, such as calling NHS 111, consulting your GP or visiting your community pharmacist, could mean that you end up waiting less time to receive care.”
Dr Dave Tatham, GP and strategic clinical director at NHS Bradford District and Craven CCG said: “For health needs that are not a life-threatening emergency but are urgent, or if you’re unsure what to do, NHS 111 will be able to advise you or direct you to the most appropriate part of the NHS, including booking an appointment for you if necessary. Go online at – 111.nhs.uk – or call 111 to speak to a fully-trained advisor on the phone.
“You can also check any symptoms and find out what to do and when to get help using the NHS website – nhs.uk. It can find services near you, such as local pharmacies, who can offer advice for common health problems such as sore throats and headaches, aches and pains, bumps and bruises or sickness and diarrhoea.”
Dave Greenhorn, Consultant in Emergency Medicine at Bradford Teaching Hospitals said: “People who come to BRI’s department with minor conditions, which could be treated by self-care or a GP, will be re-directed to a more appropriate service away from the hospital. Anyone attending A&E for minor illnesses and injuries will be asked to contact NHS 111 or their own GP practice for advice and treatment, if needed.
“People, including children, who attend A&E out-of-hours with non-emergency conditions, but which need assessment, will be offered a phone, video, or, where appropriate, a face-to-face appointment with a GP as soon as possible. These calls will be with the district’s out-of-hours GP service.”
A free guide to common childhood illnesses is available to download at: www.bradfordcravenccg.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Feeling-Poorly-A6-leaflet-March-2019.pdf or people can bookmark the page on their smartphone to access it easily on the move.