Warm spell puts pressure on our A&E medical team
13 July 2015
Warm days, long daylight hours, more sunshine – it’s hardly surprising that most people look forward to the summer months.
However not everyone is enjoying the warmer weather. In
fact, record numbers of people are coming to Southend University
Hospital's A&E department - many of whom could have been
Local doctors are urging people to think carefully and consider
whether going to an A&E department is really necessary and the
best option for them or their loved ones.
Dr Caroline Howard, clinical director and consultant emergency
medicine, said: "Each week we continue to see high numbers of
patients, many of whom, at least 50 patients per day, could be
treated elsewhere. This impacts the service we deliver to
those who truly need us in an emergency. A&E is for genuine
life-threatening emergencies, such as: loss of consciousness,
persistent, severe chest pain and severe bleeding that cannot be
stopped. Please think before coming here whether your health
concerns or symptoms could be addressed quicker through the NHS 111
service or an alternative service."
Dr Mike Saad, local GP and Chair of NHS Castle Point and
Rochford CCG, said: "Of course, in a genuine emergency the A&E
department will provide the best possible care for life-threatening
illness and injury, but it is really important that people only go
there in a real emergency.
"As many as one in four people who go to A&E could care for
themselves or use alternative treatment. Incorrect use of
A&E departments cost the NHS a lot of money that could be used
to pay for other services or expensive drugs. A single
visit to A&E can cost £124 just to be seen.
"There are other services available that could deliver more
appropriate and convenient care. If you are in doubt, please
call NHS 111 first or speak to another healthcare professional like
your local GP or pharmacist."
IMAGE: Dr Caroline Howard, clinical director and
consultant emergency medicine