A&E is for patients requiring immediate care for serious and life-threatening conditions and it is vital that people use this service appropriately. All too often we see news stories involving the pressures faced by doctors, nurses and paramedics in increasingly busy A&E departments. In these conditions, A&E staff are under extreme pressure to make a prompt diagnosis and when there are failures of care, the impact can be devastating for patients and their families.
One local hospital, The Queen Elizabeth, Kings Lynn has asked patients to ‘stay away’ following a flu outbreak and with A&E departments under increasing pressure, we look at alternative ways you can access medical advice, particularly during busy periods:
- Call 111
NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and should be called if you have an urgent medical problem and are unsure what to do.
- Visit your GP
If you have an illness that will not go away, make an appointment to see your GP. Routine and urgent evening and weekend appointments are also available for patients registered with a practice.
- Walk-in Centres
If you have an injury or an illness that requires immediate treatment or advice without visiting A&E, or you are struggling to access your GP, visit your nearest urgent care or walk-in centre. You do not need an appointment and will be seen by a doctor or a nurse.
- Visit your pharmacist
Your local pharmacist will be able to provide expert advice and over the counter medicines for many common conditions. If your local pharmacist is closed, search for others in your area, some may be open to midnight or may even provide a 24-hour service.
A lot of common conditions can be treated at home with over the counter medicines and plenty of rest. It is always worth having a first aid kit or cupboard stocked with common medicines such as paracetamol, rehydration sachets and plasters just in case.
- Check Online
The NHS website - https://www.nhs.uk/ offers information and advice on health conditions, including help finding the nearest NHS services to you.
We have experience of handling a wide range of cases relating to A&E negligence, including those involving patients treated by paramedics, as well as A&E hospital doctors and nurses.
Contact us on 01603 877000 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.