Tees Valley health leaders are asking you to ‘do your bit’.
Instead of heading to A&E, think of your pharmacy, GP and 111 online first.
The plea is a new campaign raising awareness of the ways you can access urgent medical advice and treatment.
Health chiefs say that the space in A&E for staff and patients is reduced by up to 50% due to social distancing.
Action is needed to protect patients and staff in the run up to winter.
Consider your health needs
Adrian Clements, medical director at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said:
“We want to support and guide the public to make the right healthcare choices.
“If their condition is not life threatening, please contact their local pharmacy, GP or 111.
“Those who come to our A&E or urgent treatment centres will be clinically assessed. Any inappropriate attendances will be re-directed to the right service for their needs.
“With COVID-19 and winter approaching, it is important that we don’t have large volumes in our hospitals when they could have been cared for elsewhere. Please help us keep A&E for real emergencies.”
We would absolutely echo what our colleagues at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust advise. Our communities have worked so hard throughout the ongoing pandemic to ensure that they protected the NHS. We would like to ensure that these efforts continue.
During the upcoming winter months, we all have a responsibility to look after one another. Continue to practice good hand hygiene, wear a face covering where appropriate and ensure that you have a healthy diet and relationship with alcohol.Deepak Dwarakanath, medical director, North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust
People are being urged to consider the impact of drugs and alcohol on behaviours which can increase demands within A&E.
Mental health help
Anyone concerned about their mental health should contact a new freephone line, making it easier to access urgent help.
People in Teesside including children and older people, can contact their local crisis service on freephone number 0800 0516171. Advice on what to do in a mental health emergency is also available at Tees Esk and Wear website.
Do your bit
Dave Gallagher, chief officer of NHS Tees Valley Clinical Commissioning Group, said:
“I would like to thank all our health and care staff across the Tees Valley. The last few months have been difficult and their commitment to delivering excellent quality care has never waived.
“We are supporting new ways of working due to the change in the way patients now access services due to limited hospital space.
“Locally, our response to the pandemic has already been for patients to contact their local pharmacy, GP practice or 111 online. If out of hours call 111 if their condition is NOT life threatening and if it is call 999.
“This way we can ensure A&E and urgent treatment centres are free for those who need them. We are stepping this message up in the run up to winter through the #DoYourBit campaign.”
As winter approaches we will be asking people to do their bit to protect the NHS and each other.Sue Jaques, chief executive of County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust