Hospital alert at highest level due to surge in demand
PUBLISHED: 14:52 17 October 2019 | UPDATED: 15:43 17 October 2019
Patients are being encouraged to avoid Weston's hospital's A&E department unless it is a 'life-threatening emergency'.
The Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are urging patients to use the right NHS service due to a surge in demand for emergency care services.
Health and care organisations are operating at their highest escalation levels and the NHS and local authorities are working together to manage demand and ensure patients continue to receive safe and effective care.
Patients can help to reduce pressure on services by using the most appropriate service and avoiding A&E for everything except genuine, life-threatening emergencies.
Local GP and CCG clinical lead for primary care, Dr Martin Jones said: "In recent days we've seen an increase in hospital admissions together with a higher number of very ill patients who need to stay in hospital for longer.
"We have well-rehearsed plans in place to manage this demand but A&E departments in particular are under considerable pressure and we expect this to continue throughout the week.
"Members of the public can help us manage demand by using the most appropriate service for their needs and most importantly, only using A&E for genuine life-threatening emergencies.
"There is a wide range of services available in the community ranging from pharmacists to out of hours GPs and minor injuries units and if you need help urgently but aren't sure where to go, you can contact 111 for immediate advice.
"Above all please remember that 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. In these cases please speak to your pharmacist or contact your GP or 111."
Alternatives to A&E
* Pharmacists can advise on very minor ailments and conditions and can also provide help with managing long-term conditions.
* NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for people who urgently need medical help or advice, but it's not a life-threatening situation.
* Clevedon minor injury unit, in Old Street, is open from 8am to 8.30pm and can treat strains, sprains and broken bones, without a trip to A&E.
* More information on local services is available at www.bnssgccg.nhs.uk