Stop and think before attending A&E
Please help us to keep our A&E Departments free for people needing emergency care.
There are still people heading to hospital even though they should really be seeking help from GPs; pharmacists; or getting better at home.
Emergency teams are having to care for people with illnesses such as colds and flu; or the winter sickness and diarrhoea bug – that means they have to balance the overriding need to deal with genuine medical emergencies; with the needs of the less seriously ill.
Many people arriving at A&E would get faster; more convenient help if they spoke to a
qualified pharmacist; contacted their local GP; called NHS Direct; or used the out-of-hours GP service in Sussex; Harmoni.
Such services are often more local; easier to access; and have shorter waiting times.
Please consider using other services before coming to A&E:
Out-of-hours GP service
You will be given advice over the phone or given an urgent appointment with a nurse or doctor at an out of hours practice.
- If you are in West Sussex call 0300 130 1313
- Tel: 0845 4647
- Open: 24 hours a day; seven days a week
- Web: www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk
You can assess your symptoms online quickly and can be told whether you need further care.
Your local pharmacist can give expert advice about over-the-counter medicines without appointment.
- You can find your local pharmacist at www.westsussex.nhs.uk/services-choose-well
Your doctor and practice nurses offer advice and assessment on a range of healthcare problems by appointment.
- If you are not registered with a surgery you can find one close to where you live at www.westsussex.nhs.uk/services-choose-well.
To find all the local healthcare options; visit the NHS Sussex website at www.westsussex.nhs.uk and click on ‘Get the right treatment’.
Dr Phillip Barnes; Medical Director at Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust; said: "If anyone has an accident or needs emergency care; then of course our A&E teams are there to help.
"But if your condition is not an emergency; please stop for a minute and consider your options – there are lots of choices out there; and it is essential that we try to protect our A&E services for those who need them most.
"We would always want people to use their local A&E service wisely; but even more so at the moment when there are so many people suffering serious illnesses and injuries."