PATIENTS have been urged to think twice before using Wigan Infirmary casualty as overstretched staff battle to cope with a sudden upsurge in cases.
A new outbreak of the winter vomiting bug norovirus hasn’t helped and bosses at Wrightington Wigan and Leigh Foundation Trust say the situation is “putting extreme pressure on the services”.
Wigan A&E has seen a massive 20 per cent increase in the number of attendances in the last two days.
It is an increase which has baffled health chiefs who say that no one type of illness or incident appears to be to blame.
But a spokeswoman for WWL said: “We are asking people for their support to make sure that we can give urgent and emergency care to those people who need it most. We need the public to think twice and make sure they choose the right service for minor illnesses, ailments and injuries and utilise other services such as out of hours GPs. The public should only attend A&E if they have a serious health condition and in a genuine emergency.”
The trust say that there are other options people can bare in mind instead of rushing to A&E where concerns are not life threatening.
Fiona Noden, Deputy Director of Operations said: “We continue to see large numbers coming to A&E with less serious conditions, that could be treated elsewhere.
“People can choose to self-treat at home or seek support from local pharmacies, their GP - including the out-of-hours service - or NHS Direct. We want to ensure all patients are treated quickly in the best location. A&E is not the right choice for minor conditions.”
“Local pharmacies are just one option if you need advice or treatment for a minor illness and offer free, expert advice on a range of minor conditions. As well as GPs or the out-of-hours service, the walk-in centre at Leigh Infirmary can help with minor injuries or ailments.
“Information about all Wigan health services such as pharmacies, GPs, the walk-in centre is available on NHS Direct at www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk, or ring 0845 4647.”