Medical expert warns surge in people using A&E putting Cambridgeshire hospitals under extra pressure

Hinchingbrooke Hospital. Hinchingbrooke Hospital.

Friday, March 21, 2014
10:31 AM

A medical expert has urged people to only use Accident and Emergency (A&E) when they are in need of urgent care.

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Figures have revealed an increase of more than 60 patients a day attending A&E at Cambridgeshire’s three main hospitals this month compared to the 2013/4 average.

Cambridge University Hospital is averaging 30 more people per day, Hinchingbrooke Hospital is averaging 13 more people per day and Peterborough City Hospital is averaging 20 more people per day.

The Chief Clinical Officer for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Dr Neil Modha has warned this surge in demand is putting the hospitals under extra pressure.

He said: “I am asking patients to choose the right health service for their health problem.

“A&E should only be used by people who are acutely ill or have life threatening problems such as stroke, blacking out or having severe blood loss.

“By using the right service, treatment can be given quicker to those in need of urgent care.

“Minor Illness and Injury Units in the region can help with things like x-rays, wound stitching, bites, minor burns and scalds and sports injuries.

“Alternatively, GP practices and pharmacists can help with so many minor ailments such as colds, flu, headaches, sore throats, ear aches, emergency contraception, skin problems and more.

“All of these are a good first port of call for help and advice, rather than attend the Emergency Department of the local hospital.”

Those who are unsure about where they should go for treatment should call 111 where a team of fully trained call advisers, supported by experienced nurses and paramedics, will ask questions to assess the symptoms and give healthcare advice or direct the caller to the most appropriate local service.

For more information visit www.nhs.uk or call your GP surgery.

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