Use Minor Injuries to take pressure off A&E


With rising numbers of people going to Accident and Emergency Departments, last week saw the lowest numbers of patients being seen within four hours.

Crowborough Hospital with Two Ambulances OutsideIn the week ending 14th December, 440,000 patients went to A&Es, with just under 90% being seen in under 4 hours, the lowest figure since monitoring began in 2010.

A&E Departments

Only six Trusts, out of 140 across in England with major A&E Departments, met the target to see 95% of patients within four hours.  The local NHS Trust which runs the A&E at Pembury Hospital did slightly better than the 85% average for England.

Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust:
87% of patients at the A&Es at Pembury Hospital (and Maidstone) were seen within 4 hours.  2,515 people went to A&Es run by this Trust during the week.

How the Sussex Trusts performed in the week ending 14th December:

East Sussex NHS Heathcare Trust:
At Eastbourne DGH (and Hastings) the figure was 89%.  There were 2,022 attendances at the two A&Es, with 534  people going to specialist departments or one of the Minor Injuries Units run by the Trust.

Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust:
The Trust runs two major A&Es, the nearest being at the Princess Royal in Haywards Health.  Just 76% of people arriving at the two A&Es were seen within 4 hours.

Dr Barbara Hakin, from NHS England, said:

Pressures on our A&E services continue to increase significantly.  We have admitted more people to hospital this week to take care of them than in any previous week on record.  I want to pay tribute to the staff dealing with that – they are doing a brilliant job.

As we come into the holiday period, it is important people continue to look after themselves and nip problems in the bud.  They should ensure they have proper medication, get their flu jab if they have not done so, and get advice from their pharmacist.


Minor-Injury-UnitDo you really need A&E?

NHS-111-LOGO-FINAL-CMYK-BLK_250x400The NHS is urging people to think about whether they should visit A&E or call 999.  For illnesses that are not life-threatening, they say you should first contact your GP surgery.  Outside of normal surgery hours you can still phone your GP, but you will usually be directed to an out-of-hours service.  You can also call NHS 111 24/7 for medical advice.  NHS 111 can also direct you to the best local service to offer the type of care that you need.

There is a Minor Injuries Unit at Crowborough Hospital, open from 8am – 8pm every day.  Rather than going to the A&E at Pembury, the MIU can help with things like:

  • sprains and strains
  • broken bones
  • wound infections
  • minor burns and scalds
  • minor head injuries
  • insect and animal bites
  • minor eye injuries
  • injuries to the back, shoulder and chest

If you are suffering with cold and flu symptoms, rather than wasting your GP’s time, speak to your pharmacist first for advice on what is best for you.

Dr Elizabeth Gill, Chair of High Weald Lewes Havens CCG, said:

Many people think they have to see their GP for advice on coughs and colds, but in reality a quick trip to the pharmacy is all they need.  Pharmacists are highly trained and a trusted source of health advice and guidance.

As people get older a minor illness, such as a wheezy cough, can have added problems if left untreated.  It’s important that people visit their pharmacy for early advice if they are feeling under the weather.

Pharmacists have longer opening hours than GP practices, you don’t need an appointment to see one, and most have a consultation area when you can speak privately.  They’ll also tell you if they think you should see a GP.

Did you know?

  • The best treatment for a cold is to drink plenty of fluids and rest.
  • Antibiotics don’t work against viral infections, such as colds.
  • Keeping warm can help to prevent colds or flu.
  • The flu vaccination is free for anyone over 65 or in an at risk group.
  • Using a scarf to protect your nose and mouth can help to prevent asthma symptoms in cold weather.

Click on the link to read more stories about Crowborough Hospital.


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