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HOSPITAL UNDER PRESSURE: ONLY USE A&E IF YOU REALLY NEED TO

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AUDIO: An appeal is being made to Islanders to only use the hospital’s A&E Department if they really need to and to consider using the 111 non-emergency helpline, pharmacies or GPs for non-urgent healthcare advice as substantial pressure continues at St Mary’s Hospital.

Like health services elsewhere in the country, the Isle of Wight Ambulance Service, plus the Emergency Department and Beacon Health Centre at St Mary’s Hospital in Newport, are under continued pressure.

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Although additional beds, nursing and medical staff have been put in place to cover an increase in demand this winter, services are currently under substantial pressure with many patients waiting to be seen in the Beacon Centre leading to significant delays.

Yesterday (Friday) the Isle of Wight NHS Trust made an appeal to staff to work additional hours this weekend to meet increased demand.

Mark Price, On Call Executive Director at the Trust, said:

“We would ask people on the Isle of Wight to really think about whether their problem needs them to attend the A&E Department or the Beacon Health Centre. We would ask them to think about going to their pharmacy or check their symptoms against the NHS Choices website at www.nhs.uk and get advice if they are still uncertain from the NHS 111 service.

“It’s important to do this before a condition deteriorates. Get advice early and avoid the need to visit the Beacon Centre or A&E.

“Many patients are turning up with conditions which they have left unattended for weeks or are simple conditions which can be addressed with self care – this leads to patients waiting a significant amount of time in the Beacon Centre to be seen. It’s not a great experience for patients who don’t need to be there; they should instead be using alternative services for non-urgent health advice”.

Listen to Dr Mark Pugh, Executive Medical Director…

[sc_embed_player fileurl=”http://www.islandecho.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Choose-Well-Dr-Mark-Pugh-21.mp3″]

People are encouraged to take more care with their health where possible by either asking their local pharmacy staff for advice, looking for advice on line (www.nhs.uk) or self-treating using some basic medicine cabinet essentials.

[alert-warning]Common complaints which can be treated at home with advice from the pharmacist include:[/alert-warning][alert-success]Skin conditions, such as mild acne and mild eczema

Coughs and colds including nasal congestion and sore throat

Minor cuts and bruises

Constipation and haemorrhoids (piles)

Hay fever and allergies

Aches, pains, such as headaches, earaches and backaches

Indigestion, diarrhoea and threadworms

Period pain and thrush

Warts and verrucas, mouth ulcer and cold sores

Athletes foot

Nappy rash and teething[/alert-success]

GPs should be visited if you have concerns about a condition that will not go away, or is getting worse. It is important to visit your GP if you have a recurring condition that is affecting your ability to function on a day to day basis.

[alert-note]For emergency dental treatment at weekends and bank holidays, call your own dentist first. If unable to make contact or unregistered on the Isle of Wight, call 0845 0508345 between 08:30 and 21:30 every day.[/alert-note]

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