The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust is experiencing very high demand for emergency services and is asking people to only call 999 or attend A&E departments for serious or life threatening illnesses and injuries.
Vicky Morris, Chief Nurse and Director of Quality and Safety at the Trust, said: “Our Emergency Departments are currently facing extremely high demand for services and we need people to help us manage this by choosing the most appropriate place to seek medical assistance.
“A&E departments are there to provide specialist treatment for serious and life threatening injuries and illnesses. Many people who go to A&E could have either self-treated or used an alternative local service, avoiding what can be a stressful visit to hospital and ensuring those emergency services are available for those who need them most.”
Choking, chest pain, blacking out, blood loss and fractures are all considered emergencies and those with these symptoms should not hesitate in visiting their local A&E department.
People who need treatment for minor injuries and illnesses, such as cuts, sprains and rashes, should visit a Minor Injuries Unit or Walk in Centre (details below). An appointment isn’t needed and these facilities also offer advice about non-urgent conditions. They are also likely to be seen more quickly than if they attend an A&E Department with a minor injury.
There is also 24/7 GP advice available in the county to patients who need urgent medical advice. It is a good idea to make sure telephone numbers for your GP surgery, local out of hours service Shropdoc (08444 068888) and NHS Direct (0845 46 47) are saved into your home and mobile phone so you can quickly and easily call for advice if you’ve had a minor accident. In many instances pharmacies are a good choice. They can help give advice and over the counter remedies for diarrhoea, minor infections, headaches, coughs and colds.
Anyone who is unsure on the best course of action can always ring NHS Direct for advice and reassurance they’re doing the right thing. These contact details are also available from the Trust’s website at: www.sath.nhs.uk/media
The best alternatives locally are:
Minor Injuries Units in Bridgnorth, Ludlow, Oswestry and Whitchurch, which can offer help with a whole range of injuries and ailments, including simple breaks, earache and sore throats, and children’s illnesses, minor head injuries and burns and even emergency contraception. For details visit www.shropscommunityhealth.nhs.uk/
Your GP surgery. For general medical advice and care, including prescriptions. When your practice is closed you can contact Shropdoc the out of hours service on 08444 06 88 88. Please remember Shropdoc should not be used for repeat prescriptions.
Walk In Centre. Walk-In Centres offer health advice and treatment, particularly if you are not registered with a GP (or are not registered locally):
Your local Pharmacist. Expertly qualified to give advice and treatments for coughs and colds, flu, sickness or diarrhoea, and minor injuries. No appointment is necessary. They can also advise on what conditions you can treat at home and supply a range of non-prescription medicines and First Aid items.
NHS Direct on 0845 46 47. Expert staff will be able to give advice, information and reassurance. You can also visit NHS Direct online at www.nhs.uk