A senior nurse at Chesterfield Royal Hospital’s emergency department has appealed for patients to use the service appropriately this winter.
Emergency Department (ED) matron, Sue Wootton, said that while they were ‘coping well’ with demand at the moment, they still see patients who could be better cared for elsewhere.
It makes it more difficult for them to deal with genuine emergencies, she said, and increases the pressure on her team at their busiest time of year.
She said: “We regularly have people attending for issues and ailments that could be dealt with by a GP appointment, advice from a pharmacist or a minor injuries unit.
“Things such as insect bites, bumps and bruises, diarrhoea and vomiting, colds and flu, dental problems and emergency contraception.”
“Patients should think about whether or not your reason for coming to ED is an emergency or whether or not it can be dealt with elsewhere.”
We regularly have people attending for issues and ailments that could be dealt with by a GP appointment.Sue Wootton, Matron
She said that there were a number of things patients could do during the busy winter months to help keep the department available for those who really need it.
“If you have a cold or the flu, you may be able to self-treat with rest, plenty of fluids and over the counter medication or flu remedies,” she said.
“If your symptoms become worse then you should call your GP or 111 for advice before coming to ED unless you have serious breathing difficulties or underlying health conditions that make it an emergency.”
“Examples of genuine reasons to visit your ED would be major injury from something like a road accident or if you’ve fallen from a substantial height, particularly if it involves a head injury or excessive bleeding.
“If you’re suffering from severe chest pain, breathing difficulties, severe burns, taken an overdose or may have swallowed a poisonous substance then this also means you need immediate treatment and you should come to see us.”
The Emergency Department at Chesterfield Royal is currently one of the best performing A&E wards in the country. In August it dealt with more than 90 per cent of attendances within the four-hour Government target and in September and October this figure was increased to more than 95 per cent.
It is also currently undergoing a £3million refurbishment to add capacity, improve assessment and incorporate a GP service on site.