A&E staff won’t kiss it better … it’s for real emergencies

Examine your options before using Accident and Emergency departments is the message from busy doctors and nurses this Christmas and New Year.

“We are not saying don’t use A&E. We are saying use A&E wisely,” said Angela Kelly, Interim Director of Nursing and Quality at Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust.

“Many people who arrive at A&E, particularly by ambulance following a 999 call, do need hospital care and will be seen immediately. However, there are others whose care needs could be met just as well by their GP, a pharmacist or by treating the symptoms themselves.

“A&E is for people facing life-threatening and serious emergencies such as serious accidents, serious burns, breathing problems, heart attacks and strokes. Please keep our staff free for them.”

Angela said coughs, colds, sore throats, upset stomachs, general aches and pains, and flu will usually clear up on their own. Keep warm, drink plenty of fluids and, if appropriate, treat with over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol.

Contact a GP or a GP out of hours service for help with injuries or illnesses that won’t go away.

Alternatively, West Lancashire Health Centre at Ormskirk hospital is open from 8am to 10pm all year round (Christmas Day 9am to 5pm).

Skelmersdale NHS Walk-in Centre at The Concourse is open from 7am to 10pm weekdays and from 9am to 5pm on weekends, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day.

Local pharmacies and NHS Choices are also a good source of information and advice.

Trust clinics providing sexual health services operate at a reduced service over Christmas and the New Year. For further information visit the Isis website, our one-stop sexual health service, for opening times or telephone 01704 513303.