Hereford & Worcester

Herefordshire NHS trusts' campaign to cut pressure on A&E

Hereford County Hospital - archive image
Image caption Hereford has a walk-in centre at a supermarket

People in Herefordshire are being urged not to go to Accident and Emergency with minor ailments.

A survey carried out earlier this year showed 20% of people who went to A&E at Hereford County Hospital had illnesses that could be treated elsewhere.

Dr Andy Watts said: "We are trying to encourage people to use alternatives so that A&E can be more available to those who really need the emergency care."

A six-month media campaign will feature adverts on buses and on the radio.

Patients collecting prescriptions will be given credit-card sized contact cards telling them other places where people can be treated.

These include minor injuries units, pharmacies and the walk-in centre at the ASDA supermarket in Hereford.

Herefordshire NHS and Wye Valley NHS Trust said A&E staff were having to treat people with minor cuts, colds, sprains, stomach upsets, hangovers or those who had come for emergency contraception.

Tim Tomlinson, from Wye Valley NHS Trust, said: "The A&E department provides care for seriously ill and injured patients 24 hours a day and the growing numbers of patients presenting with minor ailments and injuries puts unnecessary pressure on them."

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