HEALTH officials are expecting a big surge in patients visiting A&E over the bank holiday weekends.
Staff in the emergency department at Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham, are preparing for more visitors than normal over the next two weeks as people enjoy the sunny weather and get in the party spirit for the Royal wedding.
But patients are being urged to help ease pressure on A&E by being sensible and only visiting QA if it’s an emergency.
Dr Sophie Gough, A&E consultant at QA, said: ‘Historically we have an increase in attendance over bank holidays so we are expecting to be busier than normal over the next two weeks.
‘With the hot weather we expect to have people coming in who have had too much sun exposure, who are sunburnt, dehydrated, have had too much alcohol, or they’ve fallen over and got a minor injury because they’ve been out having fun.
‘With bank holidays there will also be more people in the area, visiting family and friends, and this will put more pressure on the whole health service.
‘As well as this, we’ll have people who will just fall ill over the weekends.
‘Our advice is to be prepared and be sensible. Make sure you’ve got all your medication to cover you and if you’re feeling ill see your GP before the bank holidays.
‘If you’re in the sun use a high factor suntan lotion, wear hats and have plenty of fluids. Also be sensible about how much alcohol you drink.’
She added: ‘We also ask people to only come to A&E if it’s an emergency – such as severe chest pain, breathing difficulties, loss of consciousness, severe accidents or severe bleeding.’
If you get a minor injury or illness over the bank holidays you can visit St Mary’s Treatment Centre at St Mary’s Hospital in Milton, Portsmouth and the minor injuries unit at Gosport War Memorial Hospital.
If you need to see a GP call your surgery and you will be given a number for the out-of-hours service if appropriate. To call the out-of-hours directly ring (023) 9237 7921.
You can also get advice from your pharmacist or can call NHS Direct 24 hours a day on 0845 4647 24 or visit nhsdirect.nhs.uk.