Major pub chain JD Wetherspoon’s is supporting a hospital campaign to keep Hull’s A&E for medical emergencies as the city prepares for Frantic Friday.
Wetherspoon’s, which owns the Admiral of the Humber in Anlaby Road and Three John Scotts, Lowgate, both in Hull, and The Cross Keys in Lairgate, Beverley, is supporting the #SeriousStuff campaign by Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.
Emergency services are bracing themselves for an onslaught of calls on Friday as workers from offices, factories and firms start their festive break and overindulge in alcohol at Christmas parties.
The three Wetherspoon pubs will display posters urging customers to use Urgent Treatment Centres at Bransholme, Beverley, Goole and Bridlington, the GP Walk-In Centre at Wilberforce Health Centre in Hull City Centre and their pharmacists instead of turning up at A&E.
Beermats on tables and vinyl stickers on floors and windows will display details of alternatives to A&E and staff will direct customers to other services if they need medical attention.
Joe Sanderson, Area Manager of JD Wetherspoon’s, said: “When we were asked by the trust to support their Serious Stuff campaign, we didn’t hesitate.
“We are well aware that the NHS has to be protected for those who need it most. This winter, our staff will be encouraging our customers to ensure they keep Hull’s A&E for genuine life-threatening emergencies.
“There are plenty of alternatives to A&E all over the city and across East Yorkshire. We’re making sure our staff will know where the Urgent Treatment Centres, the GP walk-in centres and the nearest pharmacists are so they can direct people if they require medical attention.
“By all pulling together this Christmas, we can make a real difference to the NHS so frontline staff can focus on saving lives.”
Hull Royal Infirmary’s own staff will be on the streets on Friday appealing to party-goers to use its Emergency Department wisely.
Dr Biju Cherian, a Consultant in Emergency Medicine and Clinical Lead at Hull’s Emergency Department, said: “Every year, during this season, we see increasing numbers of people coming to A&E after drinking too much, ending up hurt in drunken fights or injuring themselves after they’ve drunk too much.
“All of this places even more pressure on our staff at a time when we’re already dealing with an influx of seriously injured or seriously ill patients with winter viruses and infections.
“The public can help us by drinking in moderation and responsibly and by using alternatives to A&E like the Urgent Treatment Centre at Bransholme or the GP Walk-In Centre at Wilberforce Health Centre in the city centre if they need medical attention.
“We’re not trying to spoil anyone’s fun but people need to think very carefully before choosing to come here.
“We’re always open but it’s crucial that the hospital’s Emergency Department is here for the people who need us to save their lives.”