The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Hospitals urge people in Leeds to keep A&E for real emergencies after seasonal surge in demand

3 January 2014

Doctors at Leeds Teaching Hospitals are asking for the public to help keep A&E for real emergencies after a rise in A&E attendances and hospital admissions following the holiday period.

Traditionally there is a surge in demand at this time of year and the first few days of 2014 have been no exception. A&E staff at Leeds General Infirmary and St James’s University Hospital continue to see patients attending with relatively minor problems, meaning more seriously ill people who need treatment are delayed.

Lower rates of discharge due to disruption caused by the holiday period have compounded the pressure on beds, and the Trust is working closely with its partners including GPs and community and social care providers to ensure more patients who are fit to do so can be discharged

Mark Smith, Chief Operating Officer for Leeds Teaching Hospitals said: “Our services including A&E have performed really well so far this winter but challenges always increase in January. We urgently need the public to help our doctors and nurses over the next few days ensure everyone gets the best treatment possible.

“It’s vitally important that people who can find better and more effective healthcare solutions with their GP or pharmacist do not add to the pressure on A&E.

“If you’re unsure about what is the best service for you, call the NHS 111 service, and they will advise you on the best care pathway for you.”

Andrew Davies, Consultant in Accident and Emergency Medicine at Leeds Teaching Hospitals,commented: “A&E should be for those with the most serious injuries or illness. Minor problems such as small cuts, headaches and stomach aches can be dealt with by your GP or Pharmacist, and many other less serious health problems can be sorted out at minor injury units in Middleton and Otley or the GP walk-in centre at Burmantofts.

“At this time of year seasonal illnesses are on the rise and it is also very important to avoid coming to A&E with conditions such as colds, flu and diarrhoea, you are likely to pass on the infection and are potentially risking the lives of people much more vulnerable to these conditions, so we ask that you stay away unless it is urgent.”

For more information about choosing the right treatment for you, please visit http://www.leedsnorthccg.nhs.uk/isitforme/index.htm