Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Health chiefs have issued a fresh plea for people to think twice before attending A&E, as they struggle to cope with the rising number of admissions.
The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn said it was experiencing “unprecedented demand” –particularly from older patients.
Admissions rise in the winter months, especially when there is a cold snap and older patients are likely to be affected by heart and respiratory problems.
But Barbara Cummings, who is the director of planning and performance at the QEH, said: “We have seen a sharp increase in the number of older patients being admitted with complex medical conditions and requiring urgent treatment.
“Clearly they need prompt attention, so we are asking people generally to think twice before they attend our A&E department with relatively minor conditions.
“If in doubt, please consult your GP or telephone the NHS for expert advice, either via NHS Direct on 0845 46 47 or the new 111 phone number for non-emergency situations. Your local pharmacy can also advise on treatment.”
Advice can also be obtained online. Go to http://www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk