The Emergency Department at Blackpool Victoria Hospital continues to be under huge pressure and we are asking everyone to think about whether A&E is the service they really need.
Mr Simon Tucker, Emergency Department Consultant at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, said: “We receive patients here at the Emergency Department who could have been helped by a visit to a pharmacy or treated in a primary care service such as a walk in centre or GP surgery.
“These patients will usually be low priority and this means they could be waiting longer than most others in A&E.
“By choosing and using the right health services, patients can expect to be seen or treated more quickly, while keeping emergency services free for those patients with serious and life-threatening illnesses.
“We need to keep A&E departments for those people who are extremely unwell and need urgent medical attention.”
Residents are being reminded of the importance of knowing the alternatives as the hospital continues to deal with a high demand for services.
Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, NHS Fylde and Wyre and NHS Blackpool Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are leading a campaign entitled Think! Why A&E to tackle the issue.
The campaign uses six colourful characters to illustrate what people should do when they are feeling unwell or if they are injured. Its message is that people need to consider where to go or what to do when suffering from certain symptoms, rather than heading straight to A&E.
Self-care is the best option if a person is suffering from a hangover, a grazed knee, a cough, a sore throat or similar ailment. Symptoms such as diarrhoea, a runny nose, painful cough and headache can be treated with the help of a pharmacist.
Residents are advised to make a GP appointment for symptoms including severe back pain, stomach ache, ear ache and vomiting. Walk-in Centres are best for strains, cuts, sprains and itches.
If help is needed quickly and it is not clear what to do call NHS 111. A visit to A&E is advised for symptoms such as chest pain, choking, blood loss and blacking out.
You can follow ‘Think! Why A&E?’ online by visiting @ThinkWhyAandE, #ThinkWhyAandE on Twitter, or www.facebook.co.uk/ThinkWhyAandE.