A frontline hospital boss says encouraging older relatives to keep hydrated, warm and mobile over Easter could prevent unnecessary trips to Hull’s A&E.
Matt Storey, divisional general manager for the Emergency Department and acute medicine, appealed to people to ensure they have enough prescription medication to see them over the four-day weekend.
He said having a well-stocked medicine cabinet with cough and cold remedies, a first aid kit and details of the opening hours for alternative health services will prevent long waits at Hull Royal’s A&E department, ensuring emergency teams are free to treat people most in need of care.
“It’s no surprise that our department has been under intense pressure over the winter and, unfortunately, we are still seeing high attendances despite the start of spring,” Mr Storey said.
“Over the Easter weekend, we always see an increase in patients needing emergency repeat prescriptions. Please check your regular medicines today and ensure you have enough to see you through the weekend.
“If you do run out over the weekend please contact NHS111 or find a pharmacy through the NHS choices website www.nhs.uk
“Please do not attend the Emergency Department for this reason as it takes our doctors and nurse time away from looking after sick patients.”
Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust is running its #SeriousStuff campaign with a hard-hitting video and posters to educate the public on the need to keep A&E for emergencies only.
Mr Storey said forward planning ahead of the four-day holiday can make all the difference.
“Taking simple steps like ensuring you’ve got painkillers, plasters and antiseptic spray at home can help you self-medicate and prevent the need for a journey to the pharmacist or GP,” he said.
“Checking your elderly friends and relatives are having hot drinks, are moving around their homes if they are mobile enough and are keeping warm can also keep illnesses at bay and reduce the likelihood of falls.
“Spending time in a hospital bed has a negative impact on someone’s long-term health so keeping out of hospital in the first place and preventing the need for someone to be admitted to a ward can only be good for the person and their family.”
Mr Storey said there were a range of services based in the community to help people requiring medical attention over the Easter weekend, saving them the hassle of a trip and a potentially long wait in A&E.
He said: “There are plenty of services such as the GP walk-in centre at Wilberforce Health Centre in Hull, the Urgent Care Centre at Bransholme which provides 24-hour care, and the minor injuries units in the East Riding. You can also consult with your GP practice online, avoiding the need to even leave the house.
“If people choose wisely, they can help themselves and our staff so we’re there to help those who need us most.”
People can visit www.eastridingofyorkshireccg.nhs.uk/choose-well/miu/ for details of opening hours for minor injuries units in the East Riding over the weekend. Visit www.eastridingofyorkshireccg.nhs.uk/pharmacy-opening-times-hol/ for pharmacy opening times over the Easter weekend.
In Hull, people can visit www.hullccg.nhs.uk for details of services over Easter.