East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust is urging local people to keep safe and ensure A&E is kept free for only those people who really need it.
Patients who do not need to come into A&E with illnesses could be better treated at other health services, eg. GP, pharmacist, dentist, walk in centres, minor injury units or NHS 111.
It is estimated that around 2,100 patients a month come to A&E with illnesses that are best treated by another part of the health service. The most common reasons for patients attending A&E who could be better treated elsewhere include non-traumatic limb pain and minor illness; other complaints include bites and stings, dental problems and back pain.
Sarah Wilmer Head of Nursing for Urgent Care said, “It’s really important, especially over a Bank Holiday weekend, that local people help us to keep A&E free for those people who really need it. A&E doctors and nurses will continue to prioritise those patients who urgently need our help and work with those patients who come to the department with minor illnesses to help them find the most appropriate service.”
The Trust said it is vital patients remember A&E is for serious or life-threatening situations, including:
- Severe chest pain
- Suspected heart attack or stroke
- Suspected meningitis
- Injuries such as fractures or major burns
- Breathing difficulties
- Heavy or uncontrolled bleeding
- Suspected drug overdose
- Sudden and severe headaches
- Severe head injuries.