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Casualty Warning over Jubilee Break

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7:15am 2nd June 2012

There is an A and E warning for Cornwall.

Health bosses want us to think twice before heading to Treliske over the Jubilee holiday. They are expecting a surge in cases as we all celebrate and an influx of visitors arrive

Dr Andy Virr heads up the emergency department. He said, "It can create potential chaos within the department. What can happen is that by sorting out patients that really aren't emergencies it takes the staff away from cases that we would consider to be emergencies, who really need our specialist input.

"We're already seeing high numbers of patients coming through our doors at our main emergency department in Truro and fully expect to have a busy Jubilee holiday weekend and throughout next week's half term.  

"That makes it all the more critical for patients to make the right choices about where they go.

"Our team is here first and foremost for those most seriously ill, those with life-threatening conditions, and they will always be our top priority.  If patients have a need that is less urgent, we would urge them to make use of the other NHS services available."

People are being reminded that Serco Doctors are on call every night and will be available across the county throughout the Bank Holiday break. There will also be pharmacies that are open during the day, offering a range of over-the-counter medications.

Carol Williams, Director of Nursing at the Primary Care Trust, said: "It is essential that we allow the emergency team at Treliske to concentrate on patients with a life-threatening injury or who are very seriously ill.

"We would hope that anyone who doesn't need emergency help will consider the full range of other services available, including Minor Injury Units, doctors, pharmacists and West Cornwall's Casualty unit, for example.

"I would just urge people to think whether A&E really is the best place for them."

Other options to consider if you become ill or have a minor injury this weekend are:

*Call Serco, the out of hours GP service, on 0845 2000 227 - they can help with an urgent need for care when you would normally see a GP.

*Go to a minor injury unit. Information about where minor injury units are is available from NHS Direct on 0845 4647 or www.nhs.uk. They can deal with cuts and sprains and some can do x-rays.

*The casualty service at West Cornwall Hospital in Penzance can treat minor and moderate injuries such as burns and scalds, fractures to legs, arms, ankles and wrists and lacerations that require stitching. It can carry out X-rays and initiate treatment for more serious injuries.

*You should also consider whether your local pharmacy can help.

7:15am 2nd June 2012

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