Each day around 200 people attend Royal Surrey County Hospital’s A&E department when up to 50 patients could have been treated more appropriately elsewhere.
During the winter months, emergency departments experience an increased demand for services making it even more vital that they are kept free for those patients who really need it.
Royal Surrey is supporting the national Choose Well campaign to ensure that people receive the right treatment in the right place at the right time.
Choosing which service is right for you at any given time may not always be easy, but the Trust is asking the community to remember:
Consultant Dr Elizabeth Cheshire, the Clinical Director of the Emergency Department, said: “The emergency department is extremely busy at the moment and I would urge people to think very carefully about whether A&E is the most appropriate option for treatment.
“A&E is for serious and life threatening conditions and it is vital that it is kept available for those who really need it.
“Patients who urgently need help will always be prioritised and this means that those who arrive with minor injuries or illness may face a very long wait.
“If you need medical help or advice and are unsure whether you should come to A&E, call NHS 111.
“Calling NHS 111 is free, available 24 hours a day and they can make an appointment with an out of hours GP for you.
“You may also be directed to other services including walk in centres, urgent care centres or pharmacists if your condition can be managed there.
“In a real emergency, however you should always attend A&E.”
Please also note that many people are coming to hospital with diarrhea and vomiting.
At this time of year this is nearly always caused by a viral infection, normally lasts only a few hours and almost never needs hospital treatment.
Coming to hospital puts other patients at risk of infection. Please stay at home if you have these symptoms and ask advice (as above) before attending hospital.