At a time when St Mary’s Hospital is under significant pressure, patients with minor illnesses are still attending the Urgent Care Service (UCS) for advice and treatment without following the advice on treatment of minor illness or phoning 111 first.
Despite advice given to make good use of the full range of services available on the Island to help treat minor illnesses and conditions, such as Pharmacies and NHS111, doctors at the hospital are still being overwhelmed with people who are visiting the Urgent Care Service with minor illnesses and conditions which could be treated without a long wait or the need to travel into Newport.
Mark Pugh, Executive Medical Director at Isle of Wight NHS Trust, said:
“Whilst we fully appreciate that when a person is unwell, they want advice on how they can get better, the Urgent Care Service is not the right place for most minor conditions which we still see coming through our doors. The volume of people attending with non urgent needs is having an impact on our ability to attend to the very sick and those who need urgent attention.
“People are having a long wait because we have to prioritise more urgent cases to be seen for things which could be self treated or much better managed by a Pharmacist or GP and often much quicker, especially if people make use of the NHS111 service or online advice services such as NHS Choices or What0-18 (www.what0-18.nhs.uk). It is particularly worrying that a significant number of individuals seem to take no responsibility for their own health.”
The Isle of Wight NHS Trust advises and encourages individuals to call 111 before walking into the Urgent Care Service at St Mary’s Hospital. The former Beacon Health Centre has been redesigned as a service for patients with an urgent care need. Over recent days individuals have attended the service with conditions which could have been effectively treated elsewhere with a shorter waiting time. These conditions include:
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