Keep A&E off the wish list

NHS bosses in 1066 Country are urging people to keep safe and ensure A&E is kept free only for serious or life-threatening situations over Christmas.

Patients who do not need to come into A&E with illnesses could be better treated at other health services such as by a GP, pharmacist, dentist or ringing NHS 111, East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust said.

It is estimated that around 2,100 patients a month come to A&E with illnesses that are best treated by another part of the health service, the most common reasons being non-traumatic limb pain and minor illness.

Other complaints include bites and stings, dental problems and back pain.

Sarah Wilmer, the trust’s head of nursing for urgent care, said: “It’s really important, especially at Christmas, that local people help us to keep A&E free for those people who really need it.

“A&E doctors and nurses will continue to prioritise those patients who urgently need our help and work with those patients who come to the department with minor illnesses to help them find the most appropriate service.”