Pirate FM News 6 minute read

Treliske 'keen to avoid black alert' after busy weekend

Treliske 'keen to avoid black alert' after busy weekend

Published by Helen Down at 1:11pm 29th December 2019. (Updated at 4:38pm 30th December 2019)

Cornwall's main hospital has issued an urgent plea to patients after a Christmas surge at A&E.

Treliske says the emergency department is under significant pressure after ahead of New Year.

Bosses have posted a series of tweets describing this weekend just gone as one of the busiest of the year.

One was asking people not to come to casualty with minor illnesses, injuries or dental problems.

They have described the period between Christmas and New Year as a "pinch point" and say they are trying to avoid declaring a so-called 'black alert'.

"If people are feeling unwell we'd really urge them to seek help early, rather than waiting for symptoms to worsen. A trip to the pharmacy, a visit to the GP or a call to 111 for advice could avoid admission or a trip to hospital
 
"For a wide range of minor problems and injuries we've got a fantastic network of minor injury units around the county and our Urgent Treatment Centre at West Cornwall Hospital in Penzance is open 24 hours every day.

"We'd also ask anyone who has a relative in hospital, who just needs a little bit of extra care and support to be able to go home, to consider if they could provide that care so that we can free up space for new emergencies arriving at our hospitals.

"The period between Christmas and New Year is always a pinch point for us and it's really about making sure people know that there is a wide range of services here for them to choose from, including out of hours GP services and pharmacies available every day, including the Bank Holidays. 

If we all get help early and make the right choices, we can reduce the risk of very long waits and corridor queues, and you'll be helping hospital staff to keep our patients safe".

Emergency Department Consultant, Dr Anna Shekdar

Where else can I go for treatment?

Self-care: Having a few basic items in your medicine cabinet can save you time and effort should you become ill. Items should include paracetamol, a bandage, sticking plasters, antiseptic cream, and indigestion tablets. If troublesome symptoms persist or worsen see your GP or call 111 if your GP surgery is closed.

Repeat medication: If you or someone you care for requires repeat medication, make sure you have ordered and collected any prescriptions before they run out. Contact your GP practice as soon as possible to organise prescriptions.

Visit your local pharmacist: You can speak to your pharmacist for confidential expert advice and over-the-counter treatments for a wide range of common illnesses and complaints, such as stomach upsets, allergies, water infections, sticky eyes, cuts, nappy rash, skin conditions and coughs and colds. They can also arrange an urgent supply of any prescribed medicines that run out, so you don't have to use the out of hours' service or the emergency department. This service is also available for anyone who's on holiday or visiting family. You can get details of which pharmacies are open by visiting the NHS Kernow website.

NHS 111: If you urgently need to see a GP when your surgery is closed and it cannot wait until it re-opens, call NHS 111. The NHS 111 service can put you in contact with the GP out-of-hours service, which can arrange for you to see a healthcare professional in the evening and at the weekend.
It's available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and is free to call from landlines and mobile phones. It includes a full range of health services, including doctors, community nurses, emergency dental care and late opening chemists. NHS 111 is also online here.

Minor injury unit: If your injury is not serious you can get help from a minor injuries unit (MIU) rather than go to the emergency department. This will allow emergency department staff to concentrate on people with serious and life-threatening conditions. You will be seen by an experienced nurse, without an appointment. X-ray is available at some locations. Access waiting times by visiting kernowccg.nhs.uk/get-info/choose-well

Minor injury units are based at:

  • Bodmin Community Hospital
  • Camborne Redruth Community Hospital
  • Falmouth Community Hospital
  • Launceston Community Hospital
  • Liskeard Community Hospital
  • Newquay Community Hospital
  • St Austell Community Hospital
  • St Mary's Community Hospital
  • Stratton Community Hospital, Bude.

Urgent treatment centres: The urgent treatment centres at West Cornwall Hospital in Penzance, and Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro is open 24-hours a day, 365 days a year for anyone needing urgent medical care for injuries and conditions such as fractures, deep cuts, non-life threatening head injuries and minor falls. You will be seen by a doctor from 9am to 10pm and an experienced nurse overnight. X-ray is available from 8am to 11pm.

Emergency department or 999: Only use the emergency department or the 999 ambulance service for life threatening and emergency conditions such as heart attack, stroke, if someone is unconscious, has severe loss of blood, or breathing difficulties. If a family member is experiencing chest pain or has become unconscious call 999 immediately.

Online waiting time service: If you need to visit the emergency department, a minor injury unit or urgent care centre, you can see how long you may have to wait by using the online waiting time service, which shows the longest wait, how many people are waiting to be seen and how many people are in the department. It also includes opening times and x-ray availability. Visit the NHS Kernow website for more information.

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