The EDP says... No need for some visits to A&E departments

File photo of an Accident and Emergency sign. Photo: PA

File photo of an Accident and Emergency sign. Photo: PA - Credit: PA

Deciding whether an injury is serious enough to go to A&E can be a difficult process.

We know we are told to only go to the department for life-threatening or serious ailments.

But when you are injured or ill it can seem a lot more severe than the objective assessment of a healthcare professional would conclude.

However, that is no excuse for some of the complaints of patients at Norfolk's A&E departments last year.

Some of the reasons for attending expose a lack of services which should address social issues - loneliness and homelessness being just two.

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And we know there are services which are risk-averse in sending patients to A&E just in case or to get checked over.

But there are also those who believe A&E is the place to go for something which could be dealt with at home, at a walk-in centre, or by waiting for a doctor's appointment.

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Going to A&E for these things is a waste of time for the staff who are already overstretched - and it seems the hospitals think so too as many are categorised in the data as being in the 'general / minor / admin' category.

Accident and emergency departments are not made for general, minor, or admin procedures and if we want our staff to be under less stress, and for the truly sick to be seen quicker, it's time to stop using A&E as an anything and everything catch-all stop.

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