One in ten at A&E shouldn't be there

One in ten at A&E shouldn't be there

One in ten at A&E shouldn't be there

First published in News

HEALTH bosses claim ten per cent of all people using accident and emergency departments don’t need to be there.

The NHS in south Essex has called on people to think carefully before turning up at A&E with Basildon and Southend hospitals reporting increasing numbers of people each year.

Bosses warn attending A&E when it is not an emergency costs the NHS millions of pounds that could be spent on other services and care.

It also takes up doctors and nurses’ valuable time.

Dr Roger Gardiner, GP and lead clinician for the NHS 111 service in south Essex, said: “A&E should only be used in genuine emergency situations to ensure our local hospitals can treat those most in need.

“NHS 111 is available for people to call when they need medical help fast, but it’s not a 999 emergency.”

As well as the free 111 service, available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, there are other services people should consider like pharmacies, out of hours GP services or walk in centres.

St Luke’s Health Centre, in Pantile Avenue, Southend, and the Thurrock Health Centre High Street, Grays, are open seven days a week, from 8am to 8pm, including bank holidays.

Medics also urge anyone needing medical advice, an examination, or a prescription to contact thei local GP.

Dr Caroline Howard, clinical lead and consultant in emergency medicine at Southend Hospital, said: “We are aware that during winter months the number of serious and life-threatening cases will go up if temperatures fall below 12 degrees celsius.

“So what we don’t need at such a busy time is people calling 999 or attending A&E when they don’t really need to and they could have received more appropriate care using another more appropriate, NHS service.”

Dr Robert Ghosh, clinical director of acute medicine at Basildon Hospital, added: “A&E should not be used as a service of convenience or an alternative to making an appointment to see a GP.”

Comments (6)

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12:21pm Tue 12 Nov 13

Nebs says...

If you are not a qualified medical practitioner it can sometimes be difficult to know whether something is an emergency or not.
With the advent of bigger merged doctors surgerys, for example the one in Leigh on London Rd, these could be kept open 24/7 to deal with minor cases that do not require a visit to the hospital. Seems silly building a new facility then keeping it closed half the time.
If you are not a qualified medical practitioner it can sometimes be difficult to know whether something is an emergency or not. With the advent of bigger merged doctors surgerys, for example the one in Leigh on London Rd, these could be kept open 24/7 to deal with minor cases that do not require a visit to the hospital. Seems silly building a new facility then keeping it closed half the time. Nebs
  • Score: 8

12:21pm Tue 12 Nov 13

Nebs says...

If you are not a qualified medical practitioner it can sometimes be difficult to know whether something is an emergency or not.
With the advent of bigger merged doctors surgerys, for example the one in Leigh on London Rd, these could be kept open 24/7 to deal with minor cases that do not require a visit to the hospital. Seems silly building a new facility then keeping it closed half the time.
If you are not a qualified medical practitioner it can sometimes be difficult to know whether something is an emergency or not. With the advent of bigger merged doctors surgerys, for example the one in Leigh on London Rd, these could be kept open 24/7 to deal with minor cases that do not require a visit to the hospital. Seems silly building a new facility then keeping it closed half the time. Nebs
  • Score: 4

2:00pm Tue 12 Nov 13

andyh says...

If it's only 10% then, on the whole, people are generally doing the right thing.
Note that going to A&E for something that isn't as dangerous as it appear to you only costs resources (and not really all that much of that); failing to go could cost your life or major problems.
If it's only 10% then, on the whole, people are generally doing the right thing. Note that going to A&E for something that isn't as dangerous as it appear to you only costs resources (and not really all that much of that); failing to go could cost your life or major problems. andyh
  • Score: 4

3:29pm Tue 12 Nov 13

emcee says...

Things like this give out the wrong message. This may, indeed, get people to ask themselves if a minor condition is really serious enough for an A&E visit but it may also make people doubt a condition wich may be considered more major. This could lead to a decision not to attend A&E which could lead to a more dangerous situation.

Drop in GP services are only available for 12 hours a day. What are people meant to do for the other 12 hours? Wait and hope that their condition does not deteriorate or are they to be better safe than sorry and use an A&E department.

Before the NHS start complaining that 10% of patients are using A&E unnecessarily, perhaps they ought to start lobbying the Government, and their own GPs, to ensure the public have GP sevices 24/7. Once GPs start providing a more efficient service at times when patients need them, that I am sure pressure on A&E departments, and even the ambulance service, will ease considerably.
Things like this give out the wrong message. This may, indeed, get people to ask themselves if a minor condition is really serious enough for an A&E visit but it may also make people doubt a condition wich may be considered more major. This could lead to a decision not to attend A&E which could lead to a more dangerous situation. Drop in GP services are only available for 12 hours a day. What are people meant to do for the other 12 hours? Wait and hope that their condition does not deteriorate or are they to be better safe than sorry and use an A&E department. Before the NHS start complaining that 10% of patients are using A&E unnecessarily, perhaps they ought to start lobbying the Government, and their own GPs, to ensure the public have GP sevices 24/7. Once GPs start providing a more efficient service at times when patients need them, that I am sure pressure on A&E departments, and even the ambulance service, will ease considerably. emcee
  • Score: 11

4:47pm Tue 12 Nov 13

DCLEIGH says...

People engaging in activities which may cause them to be injured should be obliged to take out extra insurance to cover the self inflicted injuries and should be charged hefty sums against their insurance cover........For example...Sportsmen (esp. Football and Rugby).....Drivers who are in the brackets insurance claim to be high risks......Dog owners......Furtherm
ore, Drunks, Druggies and hooligans should be charged (but I doubt if they would be intelligent enough to take out insurance cover) with a court order to enforce the fees.
Doctors should be forced to give cover in the region at least once a month in rotation.
GPs are the ones letting the public down - they took the salaries and made a dash for it and are failing the oath they took when they qualified.
Patients should be educated to realize when an emergency is an emergency or not.
People without a GP (either through laziness or a wish to be "under the radar" should be forced to sign up with a doctor in the region (it doesn't have to be local these days)....BEFORE any treatment starts in A&E.
People engaging in activities which may cause them to be injured should be obliged to take out extra insurance to cover the self inflicted injuries and should be charged hefty sums against their insurance cover........For example...Sportsmen (esp. Football and Rugby).....Drivers who are in the brackets insurance claim to be high risks......Dog owners......Furtherm ore, Drunks, Druggies and hooligans should be charged (but I doubt if they would be intelligent enough to take out insurance cover) with a court order to enforce the fees. Doctors should be forced to give cover in the region at least once a month in rotation. GPs are the ones letting the public down - they took the salaries and made a dash for it and are failing the oath they took when they qualified. Patients should be educated to realize when an emergency is an emergency or not. People without a GP (either through laziness or a wish to be "under the radar" should be forced to sign up with a doctor in the region (it doesn't have to be local these days)....BEFORE any treatment starts in A&E. DCLEIGH
  • Score: 1

5:11pm Tue 12 Nov 13

runwellian says...

Who would want top go to a pharmacy and be examined in a small room by lone male? One Canvey pharmacists was dismissed for taking his examination a bit too far! No thanks!

If patients in A&E were quickly triaged on arrival and found not be an emergency, they should be turned away there and then.

All the weekend drunks should be turned away!

What is the point is being asked to go back to your GP when the appointments just aren't available at the time you need it. If you have a health problem that needs treatment that could be managed by a GP, it isn't much help if you have to wait a week before you can see him / her!

Why not turn out-pateint clinics into drop in centres, the building is already there, all the facilities needed (especially in an emergency) are to hand, then A&E could be reserved for 999 ambulance calls.

GP's still provide out of hours care, nobody else can provide this service but a qualified GP, although it may not be your own!

GP's took a £6000 pay cut to allow another service to provide this service on the governments instructions because they thought they could provide the service cheaper! GP's do provide this service!
Who would want top go to a pharmacy and be examined in a small room by lone male? One Canvey pharmacists was dismissed for taking his examination a bit too far! No thanks! If patients in A&E were quickly triaged on arrival and found not be an emergency, they should be turned away there and then. All the weekend drunks should be turned away! What is the point is being asked to go back to your GP when the appointments just aren't available at the time you need it. If you have a health problem that needs treatment that could be managed by a GP, it isn't much help if you have to wait a week before you can see him / her! Why not turn out-pateint clinics into drop in centres, the building is already there, all the facilities needed (especially in an emergency) are to hand, then A&E could be reserved for 999 ambulance calls. GP's still provide out of hours care, nobody else can provide this service but a qualified GP, although it may not be your own! GP's took a £6000 pay cut to allow another service to provide this service on the governments instructions because they thought they could provide the service cheaper! GP's do provide this service! runwellian
  • Score: 0

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