Only use A&E in an emergency, plead health trust bosses

People in Northumberland are being urged to stay away from A&E departments unless they are seriously unwell or in need or critical or life-saving care.

Saturday, 24th February 2018, 7:54 pm
Dr Jeremy Rushmer

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is reminding residents who are not seriously ill to seek alternatives wherever possible and make use of local pharmacists, NHS 111 and urgent care centres.

The plea follows a surge in demand for services at The Northumbria Hospital at Cramlington and high numbers of very sick patients requiring treatment.

As a result, people attending with minor illnesses and injuries are likely to face a long wait as teams prioritise patients with most immediate needs.

Dr Jeremy Rushmer, executive director, said: “We are currently experiencing intense pressure at The Northumbria Hospital and are appealing to the public for their help. Please only come to A&E if you are seriously unwell or in need of critical or life-saving treatment to enable our teams to concentrate on caring for those who need our help most.

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“There is plenty of help available for those who are not in immediate need. Your local pharmacist has a wealth of knowledge and NHS 11 is always a good port of call for urgent medical advice. It will direct you to the most appropriate place.

“Waiting times are shorter at our urgent care centres with patients being seen sooner for non-life threatening conditions than if they went to The Northumbria.”