Stay away from A&E – urgent message as numbers rise

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That’s the strong message from Northampton and Kettering General Hospitals as the number of people attending A&E – particularly young people with minor complaints – continues to rise.

Northampton General Hospital’s Chief Operating Officer Jo Fawcus said: “We are continuing to see hundreds of people attending the two A&E departments at Northampton and Kettering each day – a significant number of them with relatively minor problems.

“At the same time we are seeing Covid-19 infections are again rising across the county – and the numbers of people, especially younger people needing to be hospitalised with it, which is a serious concern.

“If people attend A&E with very minor injuries or long-term complaints that should be dealt with through self-care, their local pharmacist, GP or NHS 111 then our team may turn people away and direct them back to community services.

“We need the support of our local community so that we can concentrate on those people who need our care the most. We have been overwhelmed by the support shown to our teams during the pandemic and would ask that our local community continue to show kindness and respect to them”.

The two hospitals are asking patients to think before they attend A&E and to only attend in life threatening situations. Their staff are working extremely hard to provide services and care and they would like to thank the general public for their continued support.

Kettering General Hospital’s Clinical Director for Urgent Care, Dr Adrian Ierina, said: “At both hospitals we are seeing a very high number of attendances at A&E and this is creating pressure across all departments.

“The NHS locally is very busy and we please ask people to think about the best place for their care instead of using our A&E services. Pharmacists, GP’s, the Corby and Brackley urgent care units, NHS 111 and the NHS app are all there to provide free help.”

Key messages: Just think 111 first- when you think you need A&E contact NHS 111 online or by phone

·       Health at home– by using your local pharmacist for advice on minor ailments and injuries

·       NHS 111 online or use the NHS App for advice if you are not sure which service to access

·       GPs– be patient when seeking advice from GPs and understand they are also extremely busy

·       Only use A&E if you have a real emergency and if you need a medical opinion speak to your doctor or access 111.

·       Access Corby Urgent Care Centre – this centre is not for minor illnesses but for injuries only such as sprains, fractures etc- you can be seen without an appointment. It can also help with significant medical conditions that are getting worse. It is not for life threatening conditions such as suspected heart attack or stroke or bleeding that won’t stop.