Pressure on A&E

By a County Press reporter

Wednesday, February 5, 2014


PRESSURE on accident and emergency services, due to a rise in the number of elderly patients, has led Isle of Wight health bosses to urge people to seek advice before going to hospital.

Isle of Wight NHS said it was under a great deal of pressure due to a rise in the number of elderly patients being admitted in the last week.

Director of nursing and workforce Alan Sheward called on those with minor conditions to seek help from a pharmacy, GP or the 111 phone service, rather than visit the Beacon Centre.

Figures revealed that the number of people across the south heading to emergency departments, calling 999 and visiting GPS had continued to rise and that a small percentage of these visits did not need medical intervention.

Mr Sheward added that if the condition was something that could wait for a doctors appointment a GP would have a full medical history for the patient and be better placed to treat them.

NHS Isle of Wight Trust urged patients to ensure they have sufficient supplies of any medicines they need and said to contact a doctor if a condition was not going away, getting worse or recurring and affecting day to day life.

Common complaints that can be treated at a pharmacy included mild eczema, colds, minor cuts and bruises, hayfever, aches and pains and diarrhoea, a spokesman said.

The 24-hour 111 service should be used for those who need medical help fast, but when it was not a 999 emergency.


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Displaying the last 10 of 19 comments - Show All Comments

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by Keven Ball

7th February 2014, at 16:08:25

It is best to call the 111 service for advice if you cannot see a GP straight away, they will advise you what steps to take.

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by Valerie Ching

7th February 2014, at 11:16:11

Just a case of sheer weight of numbers outstripping provision. The government and NHS spokespeople are constantly banging on about don't go to the doctors unless you need to. Surely the majority of people don't do this. They do behave with common sense and only see a GP when necessary. With children's illnesses it's sometimes difficult to know often when to take your baby to the doctor - and also your baby has no one to speak for him except you so one tends to err on the side of caution. Elderly patients by and large know all this. More helpful would be to be honest to elderly patients about exactly what standards of medical help is available No point in trying to get help if there is none available. We have always been able to live with the fact that the world is not fair. Its a growing problem - there's a lot of us baby boomers about - but that wasn't actually caused by us to be fair. .

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by Keven Ball

7th February 2014, at 10:48:19

That is right David - but until a person hears this from a GP many people panic and rush into the A&E department. That is why the NHS helpline was a very god tool to reassure people - sadly it is being cut!

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by David Blackford

7th February 2014, at 07:12:59

There is a difference between feeling unwell and being ill.

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by Keven Ball

6th February 2014, at 22:26:35

Then it sounds like many people are overreacting then B Lane? Many people do this if they feel unwell, it won't be the first or last time... The elderly do seem to panic more if they cannot see their regular GP it seems from this article?

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by B Lane

6th February 2014, at 21:35:46

Sorry Keven, that system has been in operation here for at least 5 years, trouble is that where (I believe) it was intended as a non emergency alternative to A&E it has become a general free for all for anyone who cant wait for their GP.

I'm fortunate to have a GP who acts like a Doctor of old, if I genuinely need to see him I can normally get an appointment for that day, however this is not the case with friends/relatives who say that it is normal to have to wait 5 to 10 days for an appointment so they take themselves off to the Beacon Centre. Whether this is due in part to a lot of the GP surgeries growing so big that they cannot possibly service their client base in the time available you decide.

As for Mr Sherwards comment on your GP having a full medical history, that is being negated by the NHS keep asking us for consent to centralise all our medical records so whoever see's you has all your history to hand.

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by Keven Ball

6th February 2014, at 20:42:25

I agree Joanne - If a person cannot gain an appointment with their GP (until a few days) and they are worried I can understand they would panic and call 999. On the mainland we have places called "walk-in centres" where anyone can literally walk in with a medical concern and see a GP without an appointment - although the waiting times can be long - first come first served rule.

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by Keven Ball

6th February 2014, at 20:32:30

* Correction - "...example of posting for the..."

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by Keven Ball

6th February 2014, at 20:31:19

Peter - your post is a great example for posting for the "sake of it" - well done my old son... You have not even touched upon the title but aimed the whole post just for me, why? The title reads "Pressure on A&E" How have you addressed it? Simple, you haven't... So do you believe the hospital is under pressure?

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by Joanne Sturmey

6th February 2014, at 07:20:53

I've had to take 2 people to A & E this week because they can't get an appointment with their GPs within the next week and the NHS111 helpline has recommended we go in. A&E shouldn't be a back-up to poor GP access but people have no choice!

Any views or opinions presented in the comments above are solely those of the author and do not represent those of the Isle of Wight County Press.

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