A paper cut, mild sunburn, or generally needing a repeat prescription. Would you visit an Emergency Department (A&E) for these? National figures reveal that only around a quarter of people who go into an Emergency Department are actually admitted as an emergency.
North Wales frontline health staff are launching the annual Choose Well winter campaign this week, aimed at urging people make the right choice for the most appropriate service for an illness or injury this winter They want to make sure Emergency Departments (A&E) and ambulance services are used only for serious illnesses or injuries this winter.
Choose Well gives people the tools to help them decide the most appropriate place to visit. IN north Wales people can be seen at Minor Injuries Units, GP surgeries or can speak to NHS Direct Wales their local pharmacist or self care at home.
Experienced North Wales Emergency Department clinicians have released a’ top ten’ list of examples they have seen recently which could have been quickly and easily treated by other health resources highlighted by Choose Well.
Dr Olwen Williams Chief of Staff, Primary Community & Specialist Medicine Clinical Programme Group explained: “winter is the busiest time of year for us and there’s a year on year increase in the number of people using our emergency departments.
“These cases below are only a snapshot of those that come through our doors which can be dealt with outside of the emergency arena, leaving us ready to deal with the seriously ill.”
- Patient had a paper cut
- A patient’s finger had gone yellow after they applied sticking plaster coated in turmeric
- A patient had an office staple in finger
- Patient treated for mild sunburn
- Patient presented complaining of back pain for six months
- A patient wanted their repeat prescriptions
- Patient couldn’t wait for GP appointment already arranged on same day as need to go to work and collect children.
- Patient had an itchy face for three days after changing face wash.
- Patient had a painful foot for 12 months, claimed no GP available, GP appointment made there and then for them by triage nurse
- Patient had a sore throat for three days
Dr Williams said: “We are urging people to stop and think before making a decision what treatment they need, unlike the examples above. This is where the Choose Well campaign is so useful for advice and important support throughout the winter.”
The campaign is also reaching out to people aged between 15-29 after statistics have revealed this age group regularly use an emergency department when their ailment could be dealt with more quickly and efficiently by a pharmacist , GP or minor Injuries units for cuts, bites and strains.
The messages will be promoted using social media at www.facebook.com/BCUHBChooseWell
Dr Williams added: “There is a really good smartphone app supporting the Choose Well campaign now and I would urge those who enjoy web browsing on their phone or pc tablet to download it and have it ready for the winter weeks ahead.”
The Choose Well campaign assists people by linking their symptoms or injury to the right service. A new app has been developed and can be downloaded to show the pharmacies, GP surgeries, out of hours GP service and Minor injuries units close to you.
All of the latest campaign news and information can be found on our NHS Choose Well Facebook site. Please feel free to use any of our resources on this page to help us make sure people are getting the right service for an illness or injury.
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