For emer­gency use only

Plea from hos­pi­tal af­ter steady surge of peo­ple go­ing to A&E

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Kather­ine Cle­men­tine kather­ine.cle­men­tine@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

HILLING­DON Hos­pi­tal is plead­ing with pa­tients to think twice be­fore go­ing to A&E this win­ter, af­ter £1.7mil­lion of the Trust’s bud­get was “wasted” last year.

The hos­pi­tal is pre­par­ing in ad­vance for the sea­sonal spike in hos­pi­tal ad­mis­sions by ap­peal­ing for pa­tients to use al­ter­na­tive sources of treat­ment be­fore A&E, which is meant for lifethreat­en­ing emer­gen­cies only.

Over

the

past

12 months, there has seen a steady in­crease in peo­ple at­tend­ing A&E with tra­di­tion­ally qui­eter months, July and Au­gust, reg­is­ter­ing in­creases of 6.4 and eight per cent.

Hilling­don Hos­pi­tal’s A&E depart­ment treated 56,000 pa­tients last year, with each pa­tient visit cost­ing around £150, ex­clud­ing the con­sid­er­ably more ex­pen­sive cost of ar­riv­ing by am­bu­lance.

Jas Jo­hal, Hilling­don A&E con­sul­tant, said: “Pa­tients who use A&E when they could get more ap­pro­pri­ate care some­where else are tak­ing staff away from life-threat­en­ing cases.

“Please help us to help those that need it most by get­ting care in the right place.”

Anal­y­sis at Hilling­don shows around 20 per cent of those vis­it­ing A&E last year could have been treated by their GP or by a phar­ma­cist for mi­nor ail­ments.

Over­all, the Trust’s A&E depart­ment saw ap­prox­i­mately 11,200 peo­ple last year who could have been bet­ter dealt with by another NHS ser­vice.

This ac­counted for around £1.7 mil­lion of the Trust’s bud­get and could have paid for an ad­di­tional 20-30 doc­tors and nurses.

Pa­tients can get more in­for­ma­tion by vis­it­ing right­care4u.org.uk.

n UN­DER PRES­SURE: The A&E depart­ment of Hilling­don Hos­pi­tal

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