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Know the alternatives to A&E

Plans are in place to ensure the best care for patients this winter and residents are asked to help by making the right choice as Wirral sees a rise in A&E attendances.

Between January and the beginning of October this year Wirral’s Emergency Department at Arrowe Park Hospital saw almost 5,000 extra patients come through its doors including almost 1,900 additional ambulance arrivals compared to the same period in 2015.

Local health partners Wirral University Teaching Hospital, Wirral Community NHS Foundation Trust and Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group are asking people to help ease the pressure on the hospital this winter by making the right choice for their care.

During the colder months Wirral’s only Emergency Department tends to be busier which can mean longer waiting times for those in need of less urgent care.

Residents are asked to do the right thing by considering alternatives to A&E for minor illnesses and injuries. For common health problems such as a cold, cough, stomach ache or earache, there are remedies that can be easily purchased at a local pharmacy and a pharmacist will be able to offer advice.

Wirral also has some great alternatives to A&E for less urgent cases. There are Walk-in Centres in Eastham, at Arrowe Park and at Victoria Central Health Centre in Wallasey, where there is also a Minor Injuries Unit on site with X-ray facilities.


For full details of Walk-in-centre opening times and the types of illness and injuries that can be treated there, please visit the services page of the website.

For other non-emergencies, people can also contact their GP surgery or if they are uncertain about where to go, they can contact NHS 111 by calling 111.

As is the case with many hospitals across the region, the higher number of ambulances at A&E has brought with it its own challenges, however NHS staff have worked tirelessly to deal with the demand.

Matron Helen Morris, who is based in the Emergency Department at Arrowe Park Hospital, said: “Our Emergency Department has seen a rise in the number of attendances this year. This can mean longer waiting times for those with less urgent needs as we have to prioritise those with more serious conditions.

“While our plans are well underway to help us provide the best care we can for our patients during the colder months ahead, people can help by thinking first whether A&E is the most appropriate place for their particular need.

“We still see people dropping in to A&E with minor conditions when there may be more appropriate alternative health care options and where they may be seen much quicker.

“This winter we’re simply asking people to do the right thing and think fully about all the healthcare options in the community that are available to them.”

For non-emergencies or if people are uncertain about where to go they are advised to call 111.

Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 November 2016 13:44

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