Only use A&E department when necessary - consultant

THE number of people attending Craigavon Area Hospital’s Emergency Department has increased significantly in recent weeks.

Over the course of a recent weekend, the number of people attending the emergency department was approximately 10% higher than would be expected over a normal weekend. There has also been a marked increase in the numbers of acutely ill patients being brought to the emergency department.

It is crucially important that only those people with emergency conditions should attend the emergency department.

The busy emergency department continues to provide care and treatment to patients.

The public can play a significant role in helping to ease the burden on busy emergency departments as Mr Seamus O’Reilly, Consultant at Craigavon Hospital’s Emergency Department explains.

“Staff in Emergency Departments are there to provide specialised treatment for people who are seriously ill or injured and need to be treated urgently. Too often, we find our time and resources taken up by people whose ailments are neither serious nor urgent,” he said.

“We hope that by emphasising the emergency nature of the treatment provided, it might prompt more people with non-urgent/minor ailments to ask themselves if they really need to come to the emergency department. Our aim is to provide the quickest and most effective emergency treatment to those people who need it most.

“We assess each individual patient and prioritise those patients with the most severe conditions. People who are assessed as having non-emergency conditions will have to wait until patients with emergency conditions are given the emergency treatment they need.”

Mr O’Reilly reminded people about the other options available: “GPs (or GP Out of Hours), Minor Injuries Units and local pharmacists all provide non-emergency treatment in the community and I would urge people, where appropriate, to use those services instead.”