Appeal after demand on A and E at Princess Alexandra intensifies

DEMAND on the local Emergency Department is extremely high. People in west Essex and East and North Hertfordshire are being encouraged to choose the right care for their needs.

This includes calling NHS 111 when you need medical help fast but it’s not an emergency; considering self care where possible; visiting your local pharmacy or GP. In most cases, you can get help and advice from these professionals without having to go to the Emergency Department.

The Emergency Department at The 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.

Don’t forget minor injuries units and urgent care centres can treat cuts, sprains, minor fractures and other urgent, but not life-threatening injuries.

The minor injuries unit at the Herts and Essex Hospital in Bishop’s Stortford is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 4.30pm and the Cheshunt minor injuries unit at Cheshunt Community Hospital is open every day of the year, including bank holidays, from 8am until 8pm.

Dr Christine Moss, Medical Director at West Essex CCG said: “People naturally worry when they or someone they care for becomes unwell. These concerns can be heightened during winter.

“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.”

Professor Nancy Fontaine, Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Nurse at The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust said: “We are really urging everyone to consider the most appropriate treatment choice for their condition.

“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 dialing 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, seven days a week, 365 days a year”.

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