MORE than 1,100 people visited Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust A&E departments during the Easter bank holiday weekend, making it the busiest weekend ever recorded by the trust.
With a high demand on emergency services at local hospitals, particularly Worcestershire Royal Hospital, health chiefs are urging members of the public to only use A&E if they have a serious or life-threatening injury or condition.
After significantly higher numbers than normal were recorded 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.
Rab McEwan, Interim Chief Operating Officer, said: “We’ve had a very busy Easter weekend, in fact the highest ever number of people seen within our emergency departments. Like many hospitals, we have busy times when people attending A&E may experience slightly longer waits than usual.
“During these busy periods we do everything possible, working with health partners to get everyone through A&E as quickly as possible. Patients are always seen in order of clinical priority and our staff are working hard to see patients as quickly as possible.
“If you have a friend or family member in hospital, you can also help us by making you’re easily contactable and ready to collect your friend or relative when it’s time for them to be discharged. This frees up valuable beds 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.”