Patients are being warned they are using up resources for those genuinely in need.
Doctors are reminding people to think carefully before going to their Accident and Emergency department so that they leave it free to deal with those patients really in need of help.
The message is that people should only attend Bradford Royal Infirmary’s Accident and Emergency department if they have a serious or life-threatening illness.
The plea comes after an increase in attendance at the unit in Duckworth Lane, part of Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust - attendance which is sometimes inappropriate and which is putting undue pressure on the hospital.
Medical Director, Dr Bryan Gill said: “I’d like to remind people to please consider carefully whether you really need urgent or emergency care before arriving at our Accident and Emergency department or even calling for an ambulance.
“We are seeing people with minor injuries or conditions – coughs and cold symptoms for example - who would have been better served by using alternative NHS services such as a local pharmacist or their GP.
“Our dedicated doctors and nurses are doing all they can to maintain timely care for patients but when people turn up to our A&E department and don’t need to be there, this is becoming increasingly difficult. What they do not realise is that the chances are we are treating someone with a very serious or life-threatening illness or injury just feet away from where they are sitting.
“Accessing the most appropriate services for non-urgent conditions ensures that our A&E is left free to deal with the most vulnerable and sickest patients who really need our help. A&E departments need to be able to concentrate on the most seriously ill and injured patients.”
“I would also like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to our staff who continue to work extremely hard, putting our patients at that heart of all they do. I am proud to work alongside such dedicated and compassionate people.”
Dr Gill also reminded people that they could call 111, the NHS non-emergency number.
“It's fast, easy and free and you will be able to speak to a highly trained adviser, supported by healthcare professionals. Call 111 when you need medical help fast but it's not a 999 emergency,” he said.
The Trust’s Accident and Emergency Consultant Brad Wilson gives examples of when to go to A&E
A&E is the correct place if:
- There is a loss of consciousness
- You are in an acute confused state and having fits that are not stopping
- You have central crushing chest pain with sweating and breathing difficulties
- You have severe bleeding that cannot be stopped even after applying pressure
- You are having a severe allergic reaction
- You have severe burns or scalds
- Suspected broken bones
It is not the place if:
- You have a heavy cough and cold and you need pain relief
- You need a repeat prescription
- You can’t get a GP appointment
- You have sickness and diarrhoea due to something you’ve eaten or a bug
He said: “It is really matter of common sense and we ask people to think carefully before coming to A&E ”