Renewed appeal to keep away from busy A&E

Wigan Infirmary's A&E department

Wigan Infirmary's A&E department

Hospital bosses are again urging people to stay away from Wigan’s A&E department when possible after another increase in attendance.

There has been another surge in demand for its services and people are being asked to only go there if it is a serious and life-threatening emergency.

Unnecessary attendances to our A&E prevent doctors and nurses from seeing and treating those patients who need urgent care quickly. In addition it is putting a huge strain on the hospital as a whole.

Mary Fleming

People who attend whose condition is not considered to be serious are warned they are likely to face a wait of more than four hours to see a doctor.

Bosses at Wigan Infirmary have been asking people to think carefully about where they seek treatment for several months now.

Mary Fleming, director of operations, said: “Our message is simple – if you have a serious urgent medical emergency, go to A&E or dial 999. For everything else please seek out the most appropriate healthcare provider, such as a GP or pharmacist.

“Unnecessary attendances to our A&E prevent doctors and nurses from seeing and treating those patients who need urgent care quickly. In addition it is putting a huge strain on the hospital as a whole.

“With the support of the public we can make sure that we are focusing the right level of attention on our very poorly patients who are suffering serious medical emergencies.”

Other sources of treatment include the extended GP service, Leigh walk-in centre, pharmacists and NHS 111.

Yesterday it was announced that Chorley And South Ribble Hospital’s A&E department could reopen on a part-time basis from mid-January.

It has been closed since April due to staffing problems and an average of 7.5 people from the Chorley area have been attending Wigan A&E each day.