Princess Alexandra A and E: Still only for emergencies

Politics / Tue 30th Dec 2014 at 04:01pm

Pharmacy Open Times

YOUR local NHS is again urging people not to use the Emergency Department (ED) at Princess Alexandra Hospital, Harlow, unless they are seriously ill or injured or have a life threatening condition.

This follows an excessively high number of ED attendances, which earlier this week prompted the hospital to call for people to attend ED only if absolutely necessary.

Professor Nancy Fontaine, Chief Nurse at Princess Alexandra Hospital said: “The Emergency Department remains only for seriously ill people and life threatening conditions including severe chest pain, significant difficulty breathing and significant blood loss.

“Please do not attend the Emergency Department with common winter illnesses, such as chest infections, diarrhoea or vomiting. Instead, call NHS 111 for medical advice who can direct you to the right service or seek an urgent appointment from your GP. If your GP feels you need to be seen at the hospital, then a direct referral to the correct specialty will be arranged by your GP.”

Stephen Haynes, Executive Director for Urgent Care at West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “Harlow’s Emergency Department is not, and never has been, for non-urgent treatment and we urge people to get the right care in the right place.

“This could be taking measures to treat minor ailments and illnesses at home, calling NHS 111, using local pharmacies or making a GP appointment. All of these services are available and ready to help you keep healthy.

“We have increased the number of clinical advisors available through NHS 111 and GP practices have made additional appointments available.”

Local pharmacists can provide help and advice on managing the symptoms of common winter illnesses such as coughs, colds and fever. You can also find medicines for these in supermarkets and local shops.

NHS 111 is free from mobiles and landlines 24 hours a day, every day of the year including the approaching New Year’s Day when some pharmacies will also be open. Pharmacy opening hours for New Year’s Day are attached.

When you call 111 trained advisers supported by GPs and experienced nurses will assess your symptoms before providing support on managing your illness at home or directing you to the right service.
West Essex CCG, GPs, pharmacies, community providers and PAH are working together to manage the increased winter demand and this is an opportunity for the public to do what they can to manage their own health needs and keep ED for emergencies only.

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