Hospital overcrowded by time wasters

Wigan Infirmary

Wigan Infirmary

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HOSPITAL chiefs are urging people to stop going to A&E with non-life threatening conditions.

Following a busy weekend during which services were stretched to their limits, A&E bosses want people to think before they attend the department.

Wrightington Wigan Leigh NHS Foundation Trust (WWL) is asking people for their support to make sure that we can give urgent and emergency care to those people who need it most.

The trust is asking 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.

One patient, who did not wish to be named, told the Post that he was kept in casualty for two days because there was no room on a ward for him.

Fiona Noden, Director of Operations and Performance, said, “The number of patients attending A&E has increased over the past few days and we are continuing to see large numbers of patients 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 111. We want to ensure all patients are treated quickly in the best location and A&E is not the right choice for minor conditions.”

The NHS Choose Well campaign aims to get people to think before attending A&E or their GP.

Nationally, more than 51 million people per year visit their GP with minor problems which would clear up by themselves – or with a little help from an over-the-counter remedy.

Up to 40,000 GP visits per year are for dandruff, while a further 20,000 go to their local surgery for travel-sickness, and a staggering 5.2 million with blocked noses.

Local pharmacies are just one option if you need advice or treatment for a minor illness and offer free, expert advice for a range of minor conditions. GPs or the out-of-hours service is another option to consider. There is also the walk-in centre at Leigh Infirmary that can help with minor injuries or ailments. Information about all health services available in Wigan, such as pharmacies, GPs, the Leigh walk-in centre is available at www.nhs.uk