Figures reveal A&E pressures

Startling statistics have revealed that one in three people who attended Blackpool’s A&E department could have been treated elsewhere.

From April 2014 to September 2014, there were nearly 40,000 visits to the A&E department at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.  Of these, 36 per cent (14,400) of people went away with just advice on how to treat or manage their symptoms. This alone has cost the local NHS a total of £842,000.

Dr Amanda Doyle, Blackpool GP and Chief Clinical Officer at NHS Blackpool Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “These figures show the demands and pressures which our A&E department faces. We aren’t asking people to avoid A&E when it is necessary, but to think carefully about when it is and isn’t appropriate. With support from the public we can make sure that those who do need emergency and urgent care get it.”

Dr Tony Naughton, Thornton GP and Clinical Chief Officer at NHS Fylde and Wyre CCG, added: “There are a range of alternative NHS services you can access. It doesn’t have to always be A&E. If you are unsure of whether you do or don’t need urgent medical attention then the NHS 111 helpline will be able to advise you and direct you to the service most appropriate for your needs.”

Prof Mark O’Donnell, Medical Director at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “For the past few years we have seen a year on year increase in the number of people using emergency NHS services. We are asking people for their support, to make sure that we can give urgent and emergency care to those people who need it.

“Every minute that an A&E doctor spends treating very minor problems reduces the time they can spend attending to those who have suffered heart attacks, strokes and life-threatening injuries.”

There are a range of health services which these patients could have accessed instead. The ‘Think! Why A&E?’ campaign is encouraging Fylde coast residents to be aware of these and make sure that the already pressured emergency department is not put under unnecessary demand – especially in the ever difficult winter months.

For further information and advice please visit www.WhyAandE.nhs.uk.

ENDS

  1. Self care – Minor illnesses, ailments and injuries can be treated at home. Coughs, colds, sore throats, upset stomachs and aches and pains can be treated with a well-stocked medicine cabinet and plenty of rest.
  2. Pharmacy – Pharmacists offer a range of health services. As well as dispensing prescriptions and other medicines, your pharmacy can provide free confidential expert advice and treatment for a variety of common illnesses and complaints, without having to book a GP appointment. You can find your nearest pharmacy by visiting the ‘services near you’ section of nhs.uk.
  3. NHS 111 – This is a free telephone service, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You should call 111 if you urgently need medical help or information, but your situation is not life-threatening. When you dial 111, you will be directed to the best local services to make sure you get fast and effective treatment.
  4. Walk-in or same day centres – These centres provide consultations, guidance and treatment for minor injuries and illnesses, as well as emergency contraception and sexual health advice. There are two centres on the Fylde coast, (locations can be found at whyaande.nhs.uk) both operating seven days a week from 8am onwards.
  5. GP surgery – If you have an illness or injury that won’t go away, make an appointment with your GP. They provide a range of services by appointment, and when absolutely essential, can make home visits. If you need to see a GP outside of the surgery’s normal opening hours, telephone the surgery and your call will be forwarded to the GP out-of-hours service.