A&E isn’t for ‘anything and everything’ warns NHS Wiltshire

NHS Wiltshire is urging members of the public to think twice about attending A&E, as emergency departments across the county continue to face unnecessary challenges and extreme pressure.

Over the past two weeks in particular the pressure on all three of our district general hospitals has been intense.

Speaking on behalf of NHS Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group, Tracey Cox, Acting Accountable Officer said:
“Emergency departments right across the region continue to be extremely busy. We are asking people to not use A&E departments unnecessarily and to think about the impact this has on the NHS.

“Too many of the attendances the region’s hospitals are regularly seeing are for common winter illnesses such as bad colds, viruses and stomach bugs. These are best looked after at home with over the counter medication, plenty of fluids, rest and recuperation – they certainly do not need a trip to A&E.”

Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group is asking patients, families and carers to carefully consider whether a trip to A&E is the right course of action for their ailment, or whether other healthcare services, or even self-care is more appropriate.

Dr Peter Jenkins, Chair of Wiltshire CCG said,
“We recognise that knowing which services to access for health advice and treatment can seem a little confusing. There are numerous ways for you to get healthcare advice and treatment and knowing what health services are available when you start to feel ill, will help you to manage your condition quicker.”

Because it’s confusing, people very often go straight to a hospital or to a GP regardless of their healthcare requirements. To help you understand the range of healthcare services available and to help you make the right decision about where to go for treatment, Wiltshire CCG has produced an easy to use ‘Around the clock healthcare in Wiltshire’ leaflet available to download from their website.

Mrs Cox adds:
“When we are able to make the right decision on the type of treatment we need, we’re actively helping to ease the strain on a pressured NHS by taking personal responsibility for our health. Recognising when you don’t need to go to A&E means hospital staff can focus on caring for those who really do need immediate and potentially lifesaving help.”