The region’s NHS is calling on people to use 999 and Emergency Departments (A&E) carefully as the region’s emergency services are facing extra pressures this week.
With several hospitals across the North East and North Cumbria reporting higher demand than usual, the NHS is asking everyone to think before dialling 999 or attending Emergency Departments.
Dr Stewart Findlay, Co-Chair of the North East and North Cumbria Urgent and Emergency Care Network, said: “Our emergency departments are very busy right now and we are calling on everyone in the region to think carefully about choosing the right service for your needs.
“Please only dial 999 or come to the emergency department if you are seriously unwell or need critical or life-saving treatment, so that our teams can concentrate on caring for those who need our help most.
“Many common health complaints can be treated at home, or with advice from a pharmacist, making sure that busy emergency departments can concentrate on patients with life-threatening conditions.
“If you need urgent medical care and your GP is not available, you can call NHS 111, where health advisors are available 24 hours a day.
“Community pharmacists are also highly trained and can provide confidential advice conveniently and without an appointment.
“You can also now access a GP in the evening or at weekends, through local extended access schemes booked through your GP practice.
“Please remember, Emergency Departments are for serious and life-threatening emergencies only. In these circumstances people shouldn’t hesitate to call 999 or go directly to their local Emergency Department (A&E).”