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Appeal as high demand continues at Princess Alexandra Hospital

Politics / Tue 2nd Dec 2014 at 04:30pm

HIGH demand at Princess Alexandra Hospital Emergency Department is good opportunity to remind local residents to choose the right service.

With demand on the local Accident and Emergency department high, people in Harlow and across west Essex are being encouraged to choose the right care for their needs.

This includes Self Care where possible, visiting your local pharmacy or GP, or calling NHS 111 when you need medical help fast, but it’s not an emergency. In most cases, you can get help and advice from these professionals before attending A&E.

NHS 111 is free from mobiles and landlines 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

Trained advisors will assess your symptoms, offer medical advice and direct you to the most appropriate healthcare service.


The A&E department at Princess Alexandra Hospital is not the right place to go to if you’re suffering from common winter ailments, such as coughs, colds, fever or diarrhoea and vomiting.

Stephen Haynes, Executive Director for Urgent Care at West Essex CCG said: “People naturally worry when they or someone they care for becomes unwell.

“Illnesses such as coughs, colds and fever are common at this time of year and NHS 111 can offer advice and support on managing your illness at home or direct you to the right service if necessary. Your local pharmacy can also help you to manage the symptoms of common winter illnesses.

“Princess Alexandra Hospital’s Emergency Department is for urgent and life-threatening cases only.”

The children’s area of the department is particularly busy and parents and carers are being asked to consider the best place for their child’s care, before A&E.

Professor Nancy Fontaine, Chief Nurse at The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust said: “As parents and carers, we should all think twice about the best and most appropriate treatment choice for our children. The Children’s ED should be specifically for children and young people with emergency, critical or life-threatening conditions.

“It should be remembered that the first port of call for non-emergencies and when your GP surgery is closed, is the NHS 111 service which you can access for free from your landline or mobile by simply dialling 111. A member of the team will assess you, provide advice and direct you to the local service that can help you best. They’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year”.

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