Only attend Blackpool A&E if it's urgent, say health teams
People living in Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre have been urged to use the right health service this bank holiday as NHS services have noted an increase in demand.
Medical teams have noticed a growing number of patients turning up at Blackpool Victoria Hospital’s A&E when their cases are not urgent and others are failing to book at urgent care centres and simply arriving there.
They say such incidents have risen since lockdown restrictions eased and warn that the situation could impact on the care needed by those who need it most and possibly make the waiting room unsafe.
GP practices will be closed for the Bank Holiday on Monday, but people who need health services can still access advice and treatment if they need it.
Dr Anthony Kearns, head of department for emergency medicine at Blackpool Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We have seen many non-urgent cases, which make the department and the waiting room unsafe, due to crowding and social distancing restrictions.
“This then means we cannot treat those who urgently need our attention as quickly as we would like.”
Dr Neil Hartley-Smith, a local GP and clinical director for NHS Blackpool and NHS Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), said: “Since the lockdown restrictions started to ease, we have seen more people walking into urgent treatment centres and to A&E at the hospital.
"Many of those people could have saved themselves a long wait if they had used the right service.
“Urgent treatment centres and A&E are for exactly what they say they are for; urgent care and emergencies. Anyone attending those services when it is not urgent or a life-threatening emergency face a long wait as the patients with the most serious need are prioritised.”
However, there are many other services that can be used for non-urgent and long-term conditions such as pharmacies, GP surgeries, Urgent Treatment Centres (UTCs) and NHS 111
First, who will book people an appointment if their condition is deemed to be an emergency.
If people do do need medical advice over the bank holiday, the advice is to use NHS 111 either online at 111.nhs.uk or by calling 111 for free.
People will be asked a series of questions by trained call handlers who can then decide the best option for the patient.http://www.fyldecoastccgs.nhs.ukTo see which local pharmacies will be open on bank holiday Monday, visit the website www.fyldecoastccgs.nhs.uk