People are being urged to avoid using A&E at Southport and Ormskirk hospitals unless they have a serious injury or illness, or face a life-threatening emergency
Southport hospital, in particular, is extremely busy after a weekend which saw four-out-of-five patients on Saturday needing more thorough clinical assessment, investigation or observation before they could be treated.
Therese Patten, Chief Operating Officer, said:
“Local health and social care services are working closely to get patients the care they need where and when they need it. However, we also need our community’s help to keep our hospitals moving at this challenging time.
“Please use A&E services only if you need them and think carefully before calling an ambulance.
“If you have a friend, relative or loved already in the hospital, you can also help by supporting our staff to get them ready when it’s time to go home.”
A&E is for people with serious injuries or illness, or life-threatening emergencies such as severe chest pains, breathing difficulties, loss of consciousness or bleeding that won’t stop.
Contact a GP or a GP out of hours service for help with injuries or illnesses that won’t go away.
For people needing urgent help with minor illnesses or injuries, no appointment is necessary at a walk-in centre. West Lancashire Health Centre at Ormskirk hospital is open from 8 am to 7.30pm all year round. Skelmersdale NHS Walk-in Centre at The Concourse is open from 8 am to 7.30pm weekdays and from 9 am to 5 pm on weekends.
NHS 111 is the NHS non-emergency number. It’s fast, easy and free. Call 111 and speak with a highly trained adviser, supported by healthcare professionals. They will ask you a series of questions to assess your symptoms and immediately direct you to the best medical care for you.
Local pharmacists and the NHS Choices website are also a good source of information and advice.
Coughs, colds, sore throats, upset stomachs, general aches and pains, and flu will usually clear up on their own. Keep warm, drink plenty of fluids and, if appropriate, treat with over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol.