QUEEN Alexandra Hospital has again issued a message to patients to only attend Accident and Emergency if they genuinely have symptoms which can’t be dealt with by other parts of the NHS.
A tweet sent out this morning said: ‘Our Emergency Department is very busy. Non-emergency patients can seek treatment at alternative services, including the Minor Injuries Unit at Gosport War Memorial Hospital, St Mary’s Campus, Petersfield Community Hospital or their GP surgery.’
The tweet comes after The News reported long delays at the hospital which left up to 13 ambulances queuing outside the emergency department.
This is not the first time the hospital has experienced such long delays.
In December of last year, delays were reportedly so bad that 23 ambulances were stuck in queues, with patients having to wait up to five hours for treatment. In October 2016 patients were forced to wait seven hours after ‘extremely high demand’ left more than half of the ambulances in east Hampshire queuing outside.
With the situation attributed to a surge in people seeking treatment, the hospital have urged people with non emergency cases to follow the protocol of NHS guidelines before attending a A&E.
The tweet posted advised that:
- Anyone with minor injuries such as cuts should attend their local walk-in clinic.
- Patients suffering from cold symptoms or diarrhoea should firstly seek the advice of a pharmacist.
- For those people suffering from more serious symptoms such as vomiting, ear ache and stomach ache they should firstly visit their GP who, if necessary, will make a hospital referral.
The hospital suggested that any patient who is unable to obtain an appointment with their GP and does not have emergency symptoms should initially contact the NHS 111 helpline to seek advice before attending hospital.