Paper cuts, hay fever, mild knee pain and minor falls. These are just some of the things people have been coming in to the urgent and emergency care department with at a health trust in Teesside over the last few days.
The service at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust is urging people to only visit the department in an emergency.
And – ahead of England’s appearance in the EURO 2020 final on Sunday evening – the service has also got a message for all excited fans who will be watching.
Please use our emergency services appropriately
A lot of the illnesses and injuries that we can see here in the urgent care and A&E department can still be cared for at home.
Examples of this have been things like hayfever, very minor illnesses that have only been ongoing for a few hours, things like Covid symptoms which we’ve got the number 119 which you can contact directly if you feel unwell in yourself.
We have a lot of degenerative problems. So knees that have been ongoing for sometimes years or months can still be seen by the GP practices.
Your GP practices are still open. They’re still taking phone calls and they’re still seeing patients face-to-face when they need to and doing telephone consultations.
It’s really important that your GP is still kept in the loop with all your medical needs.
We need to keep our urgent care and our A&E departments free for the people that really need us. Things like serious injuries and the serious illnesses that need admissions.
We’ve been incredibly busy over the past few months, just as we have over Covid, the entire pandemic, and it’s still ongoing now so the pandemic is still very much present. And we’re still running low on staff, we’re running low on beds so we really need people to try and self-care as much as they can at home.
Take regular medications, take pain relief when you need to and contact your GP practice for things if you need repeat prescriptions – you can still get these from your doctors.
We’re really asking that patients think twice before they come to see us.
Advice from our urgent and emergency care department
Speaking from a clinic room this afternoon from urgent care at the University Hospital of North Tees, nurse practitioner Emma Francis said: “A lot of people are coming in to the department with some minor injuries and illnesses.
“We have been incredibly busy over the last few months – the pandemic is still very present and we are still running low on staff and running low on beds.
“We need people to self-care as much as they can at home. Take regular medications, take pain relief if you need to and contact your GP practice if you need repeat prescriptions.
“So, we are really asking people to think twice before seeing us.
“We have also seen a number of injuries related to the football over the last few days.
“Our advice is for people to be mindful of this – enjoy the match but do so responsibly.
“We need to keep our urgent and emergency care departments available for the people who really need us.