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Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust urge people to use A&E only in an emergency

| January 6, 2015

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Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust has continued to see an increase in the number of people attending its A&E department at Stoke Mandeville Hospital. This is consistent with other hospitals across the country.

Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust have put plans in place to ensure patients are seen as quickly and safely as possible and apologise in advance for any delays people may experience. Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, along with local clinical commissioners, ask for local people to help by considering other options available before they decide to use A&E.

Dr Tina Kenny, medical director for Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust said: ‘It is important that people only use their local A&E department if they are seriously unwell or critically injured. This allows us to treat the very sick people who need our care the most.

Lou Patten, Chief Officer at Aylesbury Vale Clinical Commissioning Group said: ‘Winter is a busy time for the NHS. The cold weather, short days, ice and snow along with seasonal ailments like flu and colds, bring extra pressure to the health service.

However, there is a lot people can do to make life easier for themselves and for the NHS. By choosing the right services and treatments they can save themselves a lot of time and inconvenience whilst making sure that healthcare staff are treating the people who most need their help. Remember, NHS 111 can book an out-of-hours appointment with a GP or direct you to nurse-led phone advice and high street pharmacies – it’s best to talk before you walk.

Other advice from Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust is as follows:

  • Decide on the most appropriate service for your needs. Some people use hospital A&E departments as a first port of call when they would receive more appropriate care by looking for help or advice elsewhere. A&E is ONLY for people who are very sick or are badly injured. People with other conditions should use other services such as:
    • Your local community pharmacist (for upset stomachs, coughs, colds, sore throats and other minor ailments).
    • NHS 111 – for when it is not a life threatening emergency and you do not know who to call for medical help, when your GP surgery is closed or you need health advice and information on local NHS services.
    • Your GP (for feverish children, infections and persistent symptoms).
    • Wycombe Hospital’s Minor Injuries and Illness Unit (for minor injuries and ailments such as sprains, simple fractures, cuts, minor burns and scalds – patients are usually seen much more quickly here than in A&E). The MIIU in Wycombe is open 24 hours, 7 days a week and is based at Queen Alexandra Road, Wycombe HP11 2TT.

Also remember:

  • Flu is not just a bad cold it can be a serious illness that can cause misery for the sufferer and it puts huge pressure on the NHS, business and families. Ask your GP or community pharmacist about a flu jab today. It is free for many people and the simple vaccination can prevent a serious illness from developing.  This includes for 2, 3 and 4 year old children who are eligible to have a nasal spray flu immunisation, parents are urged to take this up from their GP.
  • Cancel an appointment if you cannot make it. GPs and hospital departments are very busy during winter so if you cannot make an appointment please let them know as soon as possible. Your appointment can be given to someone else who needs one.
  • Visit your pharmacy or supermarket and stock up your first aid kit so you have everything you need to treat minor ailments and injuries yourself without the need to visit your family doctor or other NHS service.
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