Published on: 19 May 2021
Front-line NHS teams in Sunderland and South Tyneside are asking people to do their bit and use health services sensibly as restrictions continue to ease.
The NHS across the region is seeing an increase in the number of people attending emergency (A&E) departments, many of whom could have sought advice from a service more appropriate for their needs.
With A&E departments designed to treat the most serious and life threatening conditions - everyone is being asked to #DoYourBit and think about alternative services such as pharmacy, GP and 111 online or telephone first, and not just to turn up to A&E.
The appeal comes as lockdown measures are eased further this week and with another bank holiday approaching.
While the number of COVID-19 cases across the region remains low, NHS teams – across hospital and GP practices - still face challenges such as reduced space in hospital treatment areas and surgeries and the need to follow strict infection control measures to ensure patients and staff continue to be safe.
The region’s health service is therefore asking the public to keep up their amazing support for the NHS and #DoYourBit by remembering:
Dr Shaz Wahid, Medical Director at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are always here if people need us but sometimes people do come to our emergency (A&E) departments when they could have been cared for more appropriately elsewhere. So we would urge people to think pharmacy, GP and 111 online or telephone first and only come to A&E or call 999 if you have serious or life-threatening emergencies.
“Those that do turn up to A&E will of course be assessed clinically by a member of our team but will be re-directed to a more appropriate service for their needs if they don’t need emergency care.
“By thinking of alternative services people will be doing their bit to keep A&E for those that really need it.
“Please remember that NHS 111 online or telephone can make direct appointments at surgeries, pharmacies and urgent treatment centres. They can also send an ambulance for serious or life-threatening issues.”
Dr Mike Bramble, interim clinical lead for the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System, said: “With lockdown measures easing even further this week we are all looking forward to enjoying time with friends and family. But we hope everyone will behave in a way that does not impact on their health, our emergency services and the wider NHS by continuing to follow the rules on social distancing and staying safe and using services sensibly.”