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Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust
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Keep A&E for those who really need it

30 March 2016

A&E alex

People in Worcestershire are being advised that, unless they have a serious or  life threatening condition, they should not go to Accident and Emergency (A&E).

Over 1100 people visited Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust A&E departments over the weekend (Friday 25 – Sunday 27 March), which is the busiest weekend ever recorded by the trust. The demand on emergency services at local hospitals remains high and Worcestershire Royal Hospital is particularly busy, with significantly higher numbers than normal for this time of year.

Patients are being encouraged to contact their own GP, visit their local pharmacist or dial 111 for advice and support about alternative services, such as Minor Injury Units in Malvern, Evesham, Kidderminster, Tenbury or Bromsgrove.

The county’s three NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups (NHS Redditch and Bromsgrove, NHS South Worcestershire and NHS Wyre Forest) and Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, who run the county’s A&E departments, are urging the public to know their options and choose their health services wisely.

Rab McEwan Interim Chief Operating Officer said: “We’ve had an incredibly busy Easter weekend, in fact the highest ever number of people seen within our emergency departments. Like other hospitals, at busy times people attending A&E will experience longer waits than usual, as we always prioritise the sickest patients. During these busy periods we do everything possible, to get everyone through A&E as quickly as possible.  Because of record number of emergency admissions, we  need to discharge medically fit patients on time to free up beds. 

“If you have a friend or family member in hospital, you can also help us by supporting their Estimated Date of Discharge and make yourself easily contactable and ready to collect your friend or relative at the due time.  Any delay at this point can cause crowding in A&E and problems for new admissions.”

Deb Critchley, Interim Urgent Care Lead for the three Worcestershire CCGs said: “A&E departments are often seen as the first place that people go, when in fact there are other NHS services that may be more suitable, such as a local pharmacy, GP practice or Minor Injury Unit. If you need medical help fast but it’s not an emergency you can call NHS 111, which is a free service and which can provide medical advice and direct you to the most appropriate local health service.”

Please remember that A&E is for serious and and life-threatening conditions only. Below is a list of health care options available across Worcestershire, which could offer more appropriate and quicker treatment:

Self-care

Many minor complaints such as coughs and colds can be treated by staying at home, getting plenty of rest and making sure you have a well-stocked medicine cabinet.

Your local community Pharmacy

Your local pharmacist can give expert, confidential advice or medicines for minor ailments such as coughs and colds, tummy troubles and much more.

NHS 111

Call NHS 111 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for fast, free medical advice when it's not an emergency. This can include arranging an out-of-hours GP appointment.

GP services

GPs can help you with many health problems and complaints and can provide a wide range of family health services. Contact your GP for an appointment before attending A&E.  If you are not registered with a GP visit www.nhs.uk to find a surgery in your area.

Minor Injury Units

Minor Injury Units (MIUs) offer fast, convenient and expert care for minor conditions including cuts, grazes, sprains and burns. Waiting times are on average 20 minutes.

There are five MIUs across Worcestershire:

  • Bromsgrove - Princess of Wales Community Hospital, Stourbridge Road, Bromsgrove, B61 0BB
  • Evesham - Evesham Community Hospital, Waterside, Evesham, WR11 1JT
  • Kidderminster – Kidderminster Hospital, Bewdley Road, Kidderminster, DY11 6RJ
  • Malvern - Malvern Community Hospital, 185 Worcester Road, WR14 1EX
  • Tenbury – Tenbury Community Hospital, Worcester Road, Tenbury Wells, WR15 8AP

Page last updated: 30 March 2016