Sherwood Forest Hospitals asks patients attending A&E ‘Is it Urgent?’

Posted Friday, August 20, 2021 7:45 AM

Sherwood Forest Hospitals asks patients attending A&E ‘Is it Urgent?’

Sherwood Forest Hospitals Trust is seeing a surge in patients in their Accident and Emergency (A&E) Department on an evening, with patients with minor illness waiting a long time for treatment as a result.

Attendances in A&E for the past few weeks have been similar to the numbers the Trust would usually expect in November.

The Trust is asking patients to consider whether A&E really is the right place for their condition, particularly if they have an issue that has already waited during the working day. If people do need A&E then the message is not to wait until the evening when services are busier, but to come as early as you are able to get treated.

They are asking people to only come to A&E if their illness or injury is life or limb threatening or if it needs immediate treatment. For anything else the recommendation is to use 111 online who will direct patients to the right place or book them an appropriate appointment, including slots in A&E or with dentists. Patients can also visit walk-in centres, make an appointment with their GP or see a pharmacist.

Julie Hogg, Chief Nurse at Sherwood Forest Hospitals, explains, “If you have an illness which isn’t acute and which doesn’t need looking at immediately, then our accident and emergency department isn’t the right place for you to be. We will treat anyone who needs us, but we treat patients in order of clinical need, so those with more minor ailments can be waiting a very long time.

“If you do need us then please come as soon as you feel poorly or you need our help. Don’t put it off during the day and then find yourself waiting on an evening, during our busiest times.

“At the moment we are seeing patients waiting longer than we would like on an evening if they have a minor condition. This isn’t the sort of service we want to offer patients and there are more appropriate places for these people to be treated, which will treat them appropriately and more quickly.

“We also have to consider social distancing in our hospitals and patients need to come to us alone, so the wait can feel long and frustrating.

“If you’re unsure then 111 online is a service to help patients to find the right care, particularly out of hours.”

David Ainsworth, Locality Director, added: “I recognise people lead busy lives and it’s often when they come together in the evening there’s a realisation an illness might need treating. If it’s an emergency we clearly want people to go to the hospital for urgent treatment. However, if it’s something that can wait, all our GP practices offer evening appointments during the week and some pre-planned weekend appointments. These can be booked by asking the doctor or nurse as part of your telephone assessment.”

For more information about NHS services available in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, please see here.

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