GWH asks for support of local people at busy time

Posted: January 3, 2020

A message from the Emergency Department Lead Consultant

The Great Western Hospital's most senior emergency doctor is asking local people for their support as the hospital continues to be extremely busy and those with less critical conditions may wait for longer in the Emergency Department and Urgent Care Centre.

Dr Steve Haig, Lead Consultant in the Emergency Department, said: "This is always a busy time and throughout the next few months we expect to see a higher proportion of patients with more complex conditions who need to be admitted into hospital. This is due to viruses such as flu and other respiratory conditions which can be particularly dangerous to young children, older people and those with existing health conditions.

"Our doors are always open to anyone who feels they or their loved ones need emergency care, however please keep in mind that if you're waiting a long time after your initial assessment, this is because we're treating patients with more critical or life-threatening conditions."

NHS 111

Local people with urgent medical problems or who are unsure what to do are asked to use the NHS 111 service which will direct you to, or arrange a face-to-face appointment with the best local NHS service for you at the time.

NHS 111 has information on all local NHS services and may direct you to the Walk-in Centre, a children's clinic, an out-of-hours GP appointment or a local pharmacy.

They may also direct you to the Urgent Care Centre or the Emergency Department, but by phoning NHS 111 initially, there's an opportunity to ensure patients are streamed to the right local service in the first instance.

The service is free to call and open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, or you can go online

They also offer self-care advice and will tell you where to go locally or what to do if you're unsure.

Seek help early on

The Trust is also asking people to seek help before their condition gets worse, to help prevent the need for hospital treatment.

Local people can help by looking out for more vulnerable family, friends and neighbours and supporting them to seek help as soon as they feel unwell.

In the first instance a local pharmacist can offer advice, over-the counter-medicine and will tell you if you need to go elsewhere.

Please see  Help Us Help You - Stay Well This Winter.

Leaving hospital

One of the hospital's biggest challenges is ensuring patients can leave hospital when they are well enough, so beds remain available for new patients and a steady flow of patients is maintained through the hospital.

This is reliant on everyone working together - the NHS, social care and families - so that arrangements for further care or returning home can be made without delay.

Families, friends and carers can help by being involved in discussions about future care, being available to collect the patient, making sure the patient has all their belongings and arranging help around the home.

Please see Leaving hospital.

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