Dr Jim Gardner, Medical Director at Blackpool Teaching Hospital’s Trust has urged local communities to consider the most appropriate ways to access health care as the hospital and NHS in general experiences unprecedented demand on its services.
“For weeks and months now A&E has been extraordinarily busy, much busier than normal for this time of year,” Dr Gardner said.
“The key message that I want to get across to everybody is that as emergency departments become very busy, that impacts on the experience and the care that patients receive in the emergency department, but also right throughout the hospital and through other services such as the ambulance service.
“I ask for us all to think so carefully about how we look after ourselves but also how we use emergency services to their best effect so that we can make sure all the services delivered to ourselves and to patients are as safe as they possibly can be.”
Whilst the NHS remains under increased pressure, Dr Gardner has called for patients and communities to show civility and patience during difficult and challenging circumstances.
He said: “I’m asking that everybody is thoughtful about all of the NHS staff who are working so hard to deliver the best care they possibly can at this time. I’m asking everybody to be kind to themselves, to their friends and family and to be respectful and thoughtful for our NHS staff.
As all parts of the service are under pressure maybe we need to be more patient, and maybe even more strategic about how we access health services. We know we can do that through online services such as NHS UK, NHS Choices, NHS111 and for advice community pharmacies, walk-in centres and GP surgeries.
“There really is a lot of choice for all of us to access health services and I’m really just asking everybody to think about being proactive, thinking about medication that might be needed ahead of time, so that everybody gets the best from the services that are on offer.”