NHS makes plea to the public to only go to A&E if it’s an emergency

Update from Anthony Fitzgerald, Director of Strategy and Delivery, Doncaster CCG             

Local health and care services in Doncaster are under a significant amount of pressure and as a result have made an urgent plea to the public to help them.

Nationally and locally, health and care systems are facing huge pressure due to demand from the public, staff shortages and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. This means it is essential the public choose the right service.

If you think you need A&E use NHS 111 first. It helps us get you to the right service faster and keeps our staff and patients safe whilst Covid-19 is in circulation. If you need urgent medical attention when it’s not an emergency call 111 or visit 111.nhs.uk

We are asking the public to help them protect their local health services for those who need them the most as services have now become increasingly under pressure and we are seeing long waiting times at our A&E departments.

During these challenging times we need the public’s help now more than ever to protect our services for those that need urgent care.  We are seeing an increasing number of Covid-19 cases across the borough and this is being reflected in our hospitals. In order to protect our patients in hospital we need to reduce the risk of Covid-19 being spread within our health settings and this is why we need the public to think twice about accessing services if they don’t need to be there.

We know the public are incredible in their support of the NHS and our ask is simple, please think about how you use our services, wear a mask and do a lateral flow test before entering our health settings. If people do need services call 111 or visit www.111.nhs.uk

For other non-emergencies, the public can also contact their GP surgery or visit their local pharmacist. For any uncertainty please contact NHS 111 by calling 111 or visit the NHS website.

Walk-in-Centres treat minor illness and injuries that do not need a visit to A&E.  These can provide treatment for minor injuries or illnesses, such as cuts, bruises and rashes. Mexborough Urgent Treatment Centre is open 7 Days a Week 09:00 AM — 09:00 PM.

The new Omicron variant has also led to some care providers and health and care settings also managing additional demands. This may mean that if you do have to go into hospital and need further care, when you are ready to leave  you may not be able to go to your preferred place straight away because of current pressures.  Despite these challenges, the NHS, partners and providers are working incredibly hard to support people out of hospital and into safe and appropriate care settings, to get the help they need during this exceptional busy period.  We are asking people to do what they can – while being safe – to help neighbours, family members and friends who may need some support.

To help local health services further, please do not go to hospital to get a Covid-19 test. Those who are symptomatic should stay at home and go to the Government website or call 119 to book an appointment or order a home test kit. If you have not been able to get the test you need from gov.uk, please keep checking every few hours as more PCR and Lateral Flow tests become available every day.

The public can help its local NHS by:

  • Getting a Covid-19 vaccine if they are eligible
  • Only visiting A&E if it is an emergency
  • Call 111 if they are unsure which service they require
  • Making sure they stay safe by wearing a mask and social distancing

If you have not yet had a Covid-19 vaccine, or have yet to have a booster, you can visit one of our drop-in clinics taking place across Doncaster.  For opening times, please visit https://www.doncasterccg.nhs.uk/covidvaxclinics/ or you can book an appointment on the NHS website or by calling 119.  You can book a booster appointment for 28 days after testing positive for Covid-19.

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