South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is sending out a message to patients to keep A&E free for emergencies today.
As revellers prepare to go out and enjoy the Black Friday festivities tonight, we are urging people to stay safe, drink responsibly – and avoid spending Christmas in hospital.
The @SouthTees twitter account is updating every hour, with examples of what type of patients are coming into A&E today.
Using the hashtags #BlackFriday and #steeswinter, we hope people will help us to spread the message that A&E doesn’t mean Absolutely Everything – and that there are alternatives to A&E for minor injuries and illnesses.
So far today, the A&E team on duty at James Cook have dealt with patients with hangovers, one of whom came in via ambulance, a boy who fell off his bike one week ago and suffered a minor ankle injury and a number of minor hand injuries.
At the same time, the lifesaving team have also helped a number of patients with serious heart problems and stroke patients – the type of serious conditions that A&E should be dealing with.
Mark Nevison, charge nurse on duty at James Cook A&E today, said: “We have seen people with serious heart conditions coming in who are going to need some emergency interventional treatment – and someone who might have had a stroke.
“They are the patients that should come to A&E.
“We have also seen a lot of minor injuries such as hand injuries.
“One patient had fallen off his bike a week ago and hurt his ankle.
“There are some cases in today that could be dealt with at the Minor Injuries Unit in Redcar or by the patient’s own GP or GP walk-in centre.”
After that, patients can still access expert GP care and advice via the NHS 111 service. This service will also refer patients to hospital if they need to be there.
South Tees Access Response (STAR) GPs across Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland are amongst those accessible via NHS 111.
And Redcar Primary Care Hospital’s Minor Injuries Unit is also open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Both walk-in centres and Redcar Primary Care Hospital offer free parking.
Mike Fenwick, consultant in emergency medicine, was urging revellers to stay safe tonight.
Hear his interview with BBC Tees this morning, from 1:49:30 – 1:52:15