Royal Surrey is investing an extra £800,000 this year to cope with winter pressures but has urged people to use the Emergency Department wisely over the festive season and beyond.

During the winter months, emergency departments experience an increased demand for their service making it even more vital that they are kept free for those patients who really need urgent treatment. As part of its preparations for winter the Trust has:

  • opened an additional 22 beds over 2 wards through the Winter period to provide care for patients who come to hospital for emergency care.
  • deployed additional clinical resources in the Emergency Department at times of peak demand
  • provided additional clinical resources over key bank holidays and weekends

The extra investment follows significant pressure on the Trust’s capacity from mid-February until April this year. Despite the extra resources, the Trust is reminding people that the winter season is always busy and to think carefully before presenting at the Emergency Department

Dr Monica Minardi, Emergency Department Consultant, said: “In the run up to Christmas and New Year, we all need to try and keep Royal Surrey’s Emergency Department for those who really need it.

“Those patients who arrive in the Emergency Department and urgently need our help will be prioritised and those who come into the department with minor injuries or illnesses may therefore face a long wait.

“If you feel unwell and are unable to manage at home or a long standing condition flares up, don’t forget your GP services are available outside of surgery hours.

“You will usually be directed to an out-of-hours service or advised to call NHS 111.

“For diarrhoea, runny noses, painful cough, sore throat, hangovers, skin rashes or a headache, try your pharmacist first. There will be some pharmacies open on the Bank Holidays, but you are advised to call and check.

“In a real emergency you should always attend the Emergency Department.”

©2019 Royal Surrey County Hospital

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