Save A&E for urgent cases, urge CCG chiefs
PUBLISHED: 07:47 19 April 2019
Health chiefs are hoping to avoid a repeat of last year when dozens of people attended A&E over Easter because they thought it was the only place to get treatment.
With GP practices closed on bank holidays, appointments with doctors can be in short supply.
But Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) wants patients to remember A&E is only in case of an emergency.
Hannah Braine, divisional lead for urgent care at North Somerset Community Partnership, said: “Our minor injury unit in Clevedon will be open 8am-8.30pm every day over the Easter weekend.
“You don't need an appointment and we treat children over 12 months as well as adults.
“Our waiting times are usually much shorter than at your local A&E. We aim to see people within two hours and children are dealt with as a priority.
“Our specialist emergency nurse practitioners treat minor injuries such as cuts, wounds, minor burns and broken bones.”
Despite repeated pleas over holiday seasons, the number of people unnecessarily visiting A&E remains high.
In Easter 2018, the CCG says 85 went to Weston's day-time emergency department when they would have been better off going to a pharmacist or North Somerset Community Hospital in Clevedon.
Dr Lesley Ward, the CCG's clinical lead for unplanned care, said: “Easter is traditionally a very busy time of year for emergency services, when closures at GP practices and some pharmacies can leave some people unsure about where to go for help.
“However, many services remain open during this period to provide you with the medical support you need, without the need to spend long periods of time waiting at A&E for treatment.
“Some pharmacies will also be open and can dispense medicine on prescription, help you manage long-term conditions such as diabetes and asthma and give you advice on medication and staying healthy.
“If you are unsure which healthcare service best meets your needs, you can dial 111 at any time for professional healthcare advice.
“As well as being treated more quickly, this will ensure A&E departments can focus on treating people with serious and life-threatening conditions.”