The Bank Holiday Weekend is upon us, providing a much-needed chance to catch up with friends and family and take a well-earned break.
Unfortunately, Bank Holiday Weekends also see a huge increase in people coming to hospital accident and emergency departments, often with minor ailments that could be easily treated elsewhere.
North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust and South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have today issued a joint appeal for the local community to choose their healthcare wisely and keep A&E clear for those who really need it.
The Trusts are reminding everyone that www.111.nhs.uk, community pharmacies and GPs are better placed to offer advice on conditions such as sunburn, stomach upsets and headaches.
Keeping James Cook University Hospital’s major trauma centre free for those in serious need is a regional priority. Andrea Stubbs, one of South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust emergency nurse practitioners at Redcar Primary Care Hospital Urgent Treatment Centre, said: “My colleagues and I are here to assist you if you sustain a minor injury or are suffering a minor condition and can’t access your GP. We are a walk in service, but if you’re unsure of the best place to attend for your healthcare needs, contact NHS 111 first.”
At the University Hospital of North Tees, the Panacea dispensary pharmacy team are appealing to the public to refer to the highly skilled advice offered by community pharmacies.
Christine Baker, pharmacy dispenser, said: “Remember, your local pharmacy is here for the community and offers expert advice on ailments such stomach aches, migraines and other common conditions.”
Christine’s fellow pharmacy dispenser Kaye Morley commented: “Please think pharmacy before thinking A&E – keep that clear for the people who really need it.”
A video with staff from both trusts will be released to social media over the bank holiday weekend repeating the appeal for people with minor conditions to consider www.111.nhs.uk, community pharmacies and their GP before presenting at emergency departments.
The two trusts are also urging everyone to observe the current COVID-19 restrictions on gatherings throughout the bank holiday weekend, observing physical distancing, practicing good hand hygiene and wearing a mask when required.