Even though the junior doctors’ strike ends at 5pm tonight, members of the public are urged to think carefully about their healthcare needs and ask themselves if A&E is really the right place to receive care for their needs.
Operations Director for Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Pat Oliver, warned: “Our experience during recent junior doctors’ strikes has shown attendance numbers going up in A&E after 5pm.
“We have had a spike in numbers coming to the emergency department at 6pm on strike days, causing increased pressure on an already stretched unit.
“Choosing the right service for your needs helps us to focus our attention on the most seriously unwell patients and can also save you time. If you need emergency care, Accident and Emergency departments will be open to deal with serious and life-threatening conditions. As is always the case, only those adults and children with genuine emergency needs should go to A&E.
Mrs Oliver added: “It is imperative that members of the public consider where they will receive the most appropriate health care.
“Patients are seen in a clinical need order and this can mean some people have to wait longer than others. To offer safe, effective care we must prioritise the most clinically urgent cases.
“We don’t want to stop people who really need to use A&E from attending, but we remind patients that it is for emergencies such as breathing difficulties, loss of consciousness, severe chest pain, serious accidents and severe bleeding.
“The public are asked to consider appropriate alternatives to A&E such as Whitegate Drive, Same Day Health Centre in Fleetwood, local pharmacies, GP surgeries and dentists.”