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Hospital emergency departments under pressure

Friday 1st December 2017

Hospital emergency medical staff are asking people in Leeds to consider alternative care to help them manage significant pressures on A&E.

Professor Suzanne Hinchliffe, Chief Operating Officer at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, said today: “Like all hospitals across the NHS, we are experiencing very significant demand for our services, especially in our emergency departments.

“A&E at LGI and St James’s are extremely busy and I would like to ask people to find alternative care, except in the case of genuine emergencies.

“If you are not seriously ill, A&E may not be the best place for you to get the treatment you need and you may wait for a long time. Emergency medical staff are trained to deal with the most severe and life-threatening conditions.

“By seeking alternative care, you will be helping our highly trained urgent care staff to treat the patients only they can care for.

Examples of emergencies that should be seen in A&E include life-threatening conditions such as

  • cardiac arrest
  • breathing difficulties
  • chest pain, stroke
  • loss of consciousness
  • heavy blood loss
  • severe burns and scalds
  • choking
  • fitting/convulsion
  • drowning
  • severe allergic reactions
  • head injuries

Ambulance 5Arriving in A&E by ambulance does not mean patients will be seen more quickly; all patients are triaged and seen in order of severity of their illness or injury.

For people who need immediate medical help where it isn’t an emergency, NHS 111 is available 24 hours-a-day, seven days-a-week

Minor injury units or walk-in centres can help with injuries or illnesses where people cannot get a GP appointment or it’s not an emergency. Information about where to find them in Leeds is on NHS Choices www.nhs.uk .

Local pharmacists can give advice on illnesses and the medicines needed to treat them. People can also find their local pharmacy using the NHS Choices website.

A range of common illnesses can be treated at home by combining a well-stocked medicine cabinet with plenty of rest. Repeat prescriptions should be ordered in plenty of time ahead of a bank holiday.