Choose well for a safe night out

Monday, 17 December 2012
Emergency Department staff are calling on revellers to choose a safe night out on the eve of the year’s busiest party season.
NHS staff working in the regions three emergency departments at Ysbyty Gwynedd, Glan Clwyd Hospital and Wrexham Maleor are supporting the Choose Well campaign as the festive season begins to get into full swing.
Year on year, Wales’ emergency departments and ambulance service have seen a rise in the number of people using both services. Emergency Department attendances in Wales are up by 12 per cent since 2005
December attendance at the three emergency departments in North Wales has increased from 12,642 in 2009 to 13,280 in 2011.
Welsh Government figures also report that only 27 per cent of people who go to Emergency Departments are admitted as an Emergency.
The Choose Well campaign centres on a colour coded thermometer to assist people in linking their symptoms or injury to the right service, which is right for their need.
And this year NHS partners across North Wales have reached out to the younger generation to help make sure the right services are available for the right patients across the winter months.
Stats have revealed that people aged between 15-29 regular 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.
Dr Aruni Sen, Consultant in Emergency Medicine said: “We all know that traditionally, December can be a busy month following the onset of colder weather, increase in flu and norovirus cases and above all, the aftermath of the Christmas party season.
“We don’t want to spoil the festive season for people but we would urge them to make the right choices while out for the night, be sensible when consuming alcohol and keep safe whilst in crowded places.
“Emergency Departments are ready first and foremost for those facing a life threatening situation.  Having to deal with a person sleeping off the effects of too much alcohol could draw out resources away from someone who really needs our support urgently.”
 
If you do need help over the festive season, please remember the services below :


• Self care –Many illnesses can be treated at home by using over-the-counter medicine, taking plenty of fluids and getting plenty of rest. Self care is the best choice to treat very minor illnesses and injuries.

• NHS Direct Wales offers confidential health advice and information 24 hours a day by either calling 0845 46 47, or via the internet www.nhsdirect.wales.nhs.uk Contact NHS Direct if you are ill and have any questions about health. The service can also help you to find health services in your local area.

• Pharmacist Visit a pharmacy when you are suffering from a common health problem which does not require being seen by a nurse or doctor. Your local pharmacist can give you advice on common illnesses and the medicines you need to treat them. They may help if you have run out of your normal repeat prescription. They can also provide Emergency Contraception

• GP and Out of Hours Services - During office hours please contact your GP for advice and treatment of most illnesses. GP advice is available outside office hours from your local out of hours service, To contact out of hours services, telephone your usual GP number or NHS Direct Wales on 0845 46 47.

• Dental Services For advice contact your registered Dentist. If you are not registered with a dentist and need urgent treatment, you can call the North Wales Dental Helpline on 0845 60 10 128 to find out about emergency dental clinics.

• Minor Injuries Units– Located at some hospitals, these should be used for the treatment of minor injuries such as cuts, bites, stings and muscle and joint injuries. There is no need for an appointment. Minor Injuries Units are located throughout North Wales. They can treat minor injuries and give you health advice. For details of your nearest Minor Injuries Unit, please contact NHS Direct on 0845 46 47.

• Emergency Department (A&E) or 999 – Emergency Department (A&E) can treat people who are very ill or badly injured. They can be found in Bangor, Bodelwyddan and Wrexham. You should always call 999 in a life threatening emergency - if someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk.