'Significant pressure' on hospitals after Christmas prompts CCG appeal
PUBLISHED: 17:30 03 January 2020 | UPDATED: 17:30 03 January 2020
People are being urged to use the right NHS service for their needs, as hospitals have been put under increased pressure due to high demand across the district over the festive season.
Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commisioning Group (CCG) has said health care services in the area are experiencing 'significant pressures' following the Christmas and New Year period.
The group has confirmed that the NHS and local authorities in the region are working together to manage demand to ensure people continue to receive safe and effective care in the area.
The CCG says people can help to reduce pressure on hospitals by using the most appropriate NHS service for their needs and by helping a relative in hospital to return home when they are fit for discharge.
The CCG's clinical lead for primary care, Dr Martin Jones, said: "During the festive season our healthcare system has been incredibly busy, with a particularly high number of attendances and admissions into our A&E departments.
"We have well-rehearsed plans in place to manage this demand, but we expect the pressures to continue this weekend - and we're asking the public to help us by using the right services for their needs, and to only use A&E for serious or life-threatening conditions only.
"Above all, please remember, if you're feeling under the weather or have a minor injury, A&E is not necessarily the place for you and you may experience a long wait."
The CCG is recommending people visit GP practices, minor injuries units, pharmacies or call NHS 111 to help with non-emergency situations.
Mr Jones continued: "There are a wide-range of alternatives to A&E for non-emergency conditions available in the community, ranging from GPs to pharmacists and minor injuries units.
"If you need help urgently but aren't sure where to go, you can also contact NHS 111 for immediate advice and guidance.
"We're also asking people who have a loved one in hospital to support them by returning home as soon as they are fit for discharge, as this is always better for patients and helps to relieve pressure on our busy hospitals."
For more information about services in the area, visit www.bnssgccg.nhs.uk