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Newcastle Gateshead Clinical Commisioning Group

Newcastle Gateshead Clinical Commisioning Group

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Doctors ask public to think twice before visiting A&E

The NHS across the North East is currently experiencing significant demand for help and doctors are asking the public to think carefully before calling 999 or attending accident and emergency departments.

There are increased cases of flu at the moment, as well as diarrhoea and vomiting, but these can easily be treated without visiting a hospital.

Dr Stewart Findlay, chair of the North East Urgent and Emergency Care Network, said: “A&E departments are only for those who need emergency treatment while less urgent problems can be dealt with by visiting a pharmacy or, if you are unsure what to do, phone 111.  However, if the symptoms continue then you should contact your GP.”

Demand for NHS services goes up during any holiday period, so it’s crucial that services are kept available for people who need them most. We all need to help reduce unnecessary demand on our emergency services.

Dr Findlay added: “Most normally healthy people with a common illness do not need to see their GP, attend A&E and absolutely do not need to call 999. Flu, colds, sore throats, headaches, hangovers, upset stomachs, coughs, aches, pains, diarrhoea and vomiting should all be treated at home or with advice from a local pharmacist, with painkillers, rest and plenty of fluids. 

“That way you help to reduce the spread of viruses and also keep appointments available for people with serious health conditions who must see a doctor or a nurse.”

For more information about keeping well, call NHS 111 or visit www.nhs.uk