A&E doesn’t mean Absolutely Everything! That’s the message from A&E staff including clinical sisters, staff nurses, nursing assistants and porters – who have seen more than their fair share of unusual A&E attendances recently.
The team are urging patients to consider alternatives to A&E for minor illnesses and injuries, such as GP walk-in centres, Redcar Primary Care Hospital’s Minor Injuries Unit and NHS 111.
The campaign got underway following a spate of bizarre attendances at The James Cook University Hospital’s A&E department, including problems with false nails, blisters caused by ill-fitting shoes, concerns over spots on the tongue which turned out to be tastebuds and minor cuts.
It aims to remind people that as a Major Trauma Centre (MTC) for the whole region, James Cook must prioritise the most seriously ill and injured first – and anybody who turns up with a minor illness or injury could face a long wait.
Julie Suckling, A&E directorate manager based at the Middlesbrough hospital, said: “It is likely to be much quicker to get in to see the GPs or nurses at minor injuries Units and GP walk-in centres than it would be to access staff in a busy A&E department – who must prioritise the most seriously ill and injured first.
“With the arrival of winter and the festive season approaching, we are likely to see more slips, trips and falls and patients coming in with respiratory illnesses – as well as alcohol-related injuries.
“We would urge members of the public to try to stay safe whilst enjoying the festivities and choose health services wisely if you do require them.”