Local hospitals’ emergency departments under pressure

Hospital A&E departments are under extreme pressure this New Year’s Eve and emergency doctors are urging people to consider alternatives if their case is not urgent. 

West Midlands AmbulanceDuring the winter period, hospitals and emergency departments are busier than usual with additional pressures on their services. Where possible, for minor injuries, locals are reminded to beat the winter wait and use alternative health services such as local walk-in centres. Placed locally within community settings, walk-in centres have GPs and nurses ready and waiting to see you, with less than half the waiting time of your local A&E department. You can be seen, treated, prescribed and home within a few hours.

If you are suffering from a minor injury or ailment such as cold and flu-like symptoms, why not call NHS Direct on (0845) 46 47 for advice, contact your GP or head to a walk-in centre before arriving at your local hospital A&E.

Urgent cases such as loss of consciousness, severe chest pain, breathing difficulties, serious accidents, severe bleeding, deep wounds and serious breaks such as a broken leg, should be reserved for A&E.

Dr Aidan Macnamara, clinical director for emergency medicine at Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, said: “It is a problem when patients use their local A&E services instead of more suitable alternatives. We ask that the public only call the ambulance service in genuine emergencies.

“During this very busy period, we need to remind patients of the wide range of information and out-of-hours support and treatment that is available across Birmingham and the West Midlands, aside from the emergency department at the Hospital.”

Local walk-in centres include: Warren Farm Urgent Care Centre Walk in Service, Warren Farm Road, Kingstanding, Birmingham, West Midlands, B44 0PU; Washwood Heath Urgent Care Centre, Washwood Heath Health Centre, Clodeshall Road, Saltley, B8 3SN and Solihull Walk in Centre, Lode Lane, Solihull, West Midlands, England, B91 2AE.