The Bank Holiday weekend is upon us, providing a much-needed chance to 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. We’re asking the local community to choose their healthcare wisely and keep A&E clear for those who really need it.Is it an emergency?
NHS 111, community pharmacies and GPs are better placed to offer advice on conditions such as sunburn, stomach upsets and headaches.
A&E – please choose wisely this bank holiday
A&E – please choose wisely
[A banner reads: Think 111, think pharmacy, think GP]
Debbie: My name’s Debbie Hall and I’m a nurse at the emergency department at North Tees.
We’re here to look after your more serious injuries, life-threatening illnesses, chest pain, severe asthma attacks and children with really serious injuries and illnesses.
I would just like to remind everybody to stay safe and please use the correct services and save A&E or the emergency department for more serious problems.
Lizzy: Hi, I’m Lizzy, one of the clinical pharmacists here at South Tees hospitals. Our pharmacy team is really busy providing safe and effective medicines to all of our patients.
We are here if you need us but our expert colleagues in your local community pharmacy are also there for you.
Nicola: Hello, my name is Nicola Grieves, I’m the senior lead clinical practitioner for A&E and urgent care.
When I’m not based in the office, I predominantly work in urgent care.
In the centre, we see patients with minor illness and minor injuries. Things such as chest infections, throat infections, ear infections, water infections. We also see minor injuries such as fractured wrists, ankles and the less serious injuries like lacerations to hands and things like that.
Christine: Hi, I’m Christine, I work in Panacea pharmacy, North Tees Hospital. Remember, your local pharmacy is here for the community and offers expert advice on ailments such as stomach aches and migraines and other common conditions.
Andrea: Hi, my name is Andrea and I’m one of the emergency nurse practitioners working within the urgent treatment centre, Redcar Primary Care Hospital.
Myself and my colleagues at Redcar UTC are here to assist you if you sustain a minor injury or are suffering with a minor ailment and can’t access your own GP.
We are a walk-in service but if you are unsure of the best place to attend for your health needs, please contact 111 for assessment and guidance.
Kay: Hi, I’m Kay from Panacea.
Please think pharmacy before thinking A&E. Please keep that clear for the people that really do need it. Thank you.
Spokesperson for Friarage Hospital: The urgent treatment centre provides a 24-hour service seven-days-a-week for adults and children.
You can self-present to the UTC or call 111 who can arrange a pre-bookable appointment at the UTC.
Nicola: We’d like to take this opportunity to urge you to try and think of alternative services before you attend our departments.
For example you can utilise your pharmacy for minor ailments such as ear infections and you can also consider your GP in working hours.
Title card: Please keep A&E free unless it’s an emergency. A joint message from South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust.
Urgent treatment centres
Keeping James Cook University Hospital’s major trauma centre free for those in serious need is a regional priority.
Andrea Stubbs is an emergency nurse practitioners at Redcar Primary Care Hospital Urgent Treatment Centre. She 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.”
Staying safe from Covid
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
- Wear a mask when required