A&E experiencing unprecedented demand

Wigan Infirmary

Wigan Infirmary

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Residents are being urged to only visit A&E in “life-threatening” situations.

The accident and emergency department at Wigan Infirmary is currently “extremely busy” and residents are being asked to help by choosing where they go for treatment wisely.

Mary Fleming, Acting Director of Operations at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust (WWL), said: “Our A&E department is facing unprecedented demand. While we will see and treat all patients who attend, there are those who could be better treated elsewhere.

“Please help us make sure our staff are free to treat those most in need, such as those who have a life-threatening or serious illness, injury or condition.

“If someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk, then 999 should be called. An emergency is a critical or life-threatening situation, such as a suspected heart attack, acute confused state and fits that are not stopping, loss of consciousness, breathing difficulties, chest pain, head injuries or severe bleeding that cannot be stopped.”

WWL has said that health agencies throughout the Wigan borough are working together to deal with this surge in demand and want to ensure all patients receive the right care, at the right time and in the right location.

The trust is reminding people that A&E is not the right choice for minor illnesses and injuries, such as coughs, colds, sore throats and sprains.

A spokesman said: “Self-medicate where appropriate, make an appointment with your GP, attend the Walk-in Centre at Leigh, or speak to your local pharmacist.

“You can also book an appointment to see a GP or Nurse until 8pm weekdays and between 10am and 4pm at the weekend. Registered Wigan Borough patients can call 01942 482848 and book an appointment thorough this service. If you need non-emergency medical help outside of your GP opening hours, please contact the Out-of-Hours service on 01942 829911.”