The Accident and Emergency Department at Northampton General Hospital is currently seeing record numbers of patients with yet another increase this week.
Estimates indicate that current patient numbers are around 40% higher than the same week in 2015, and that around half the people coming in to A&E could have received alternative treatment elsewhere.
Dr Emma Clancy, GP and Clinical Executive Director For Acute Trusts South at NHS Nene Clinical Commissioning Group, said; It is really important that A&E is only used for critical or life-threatening situations such as loss of consciousness, heavy blood loss, suspected broken bones, persistent chest pain, difficulty breathing, overdoses, ingestion or poisoning.
We are currently seeing an increase in the numbers of attendances in the evenings as people often think that visiting their local A&E or calling 999 are their only options when their GP surgery is closed. There are actually lots of services that offer treatment and advice in the evenings and at the weekend, including local pharmacists, NHS 111 and out-of-hours GP services.
The NHS Choices website at www.nhs.uk<http://www.nhs.uk> is also a great source of information and advice and minor illnesses and injuries can often be treated successfully at home with a well-stocked medicine cabinet or with advice from your local pharmacist. It s really important to remember that if people seek the treatment most appropriate to their condition they will usually be seen much more quickly too.