The region's NHS has issued
a plea for the public to access emergency services with care ahead
of a busy bank holiday weekend.
A surge in demand is
expected in hospitals across the North East and North Cumbria over
the long weekend. To help ease the pressure, doctors are asking
people to use services carefully and with consideration.
Dr Stewart Findlay is
Co-Chair of the North East and North Cumbria Urgent and Emergency
Care Network. He said: "We're expecting high demand on services
over the holiday weekend. Emergency departments in particular will
be very busy so we're asking everyone to think carefully and choose
the right NHS service for their needs.
"Visiting the emergency
department or calling 999 is only appropriate if a patient is
seriously unwell or needs critical or lifesaving treatment. By
choosing the right service for non-emergency problems you will be
helping us focus on providing emergency care to patients who need
"Out of hours GP
appointments are now available through local extended access
schemes, which can be booked through your surgery. If you need
urgent care and can't see a GP, you can phone the NHS 111 service,
where there are health advisors 24 hours a day to ensure you get
the right care for your needs.
"Many common health issues
can be treated at home with over-the-counter medicines or with
advice from a pharmacist. Community pharmacists are trained medical
professionals who can provide confidential advice with no
"As we move into this busy
period for our hospitals and ambulance services, we're calling on
everyone to remember that Emergency Departments are for serious and
life-threatening emergencies. In those situations we would always
advise patients to call 999 or go to the local Emergency Department
"In less serious situations,
we're asking everyone to consider their treatment options more
widely. By using the right service, you are helping our NHS and
it's likely that you will have a shorter wait."
For pharmacy opening hours
and health advice, visit: www.nhs.uk
Published 24th MAy
'The treatment I have received from all the staff has been
excellent and could you extend my thanks to them all. A very
thankful and relieved patient'.
Patient, Dermatology Outpatients Department, University Hospital
of North Durham