The A&E department at Rotherham Hospital has seen a dramatic surge in patient numbers recently, staff are urging people in Rotherham to make sure they choose the right care pathway for them.
Doctors are now treating 50 more people a day than they were a few years ago. This means that the department is seeing in excess of 220 patients per day, often more at peak times.
Deputy Business & Service Manager Lesley Hammond says: “We need people to consider other options for their care. A&E is designed for emergency care, but increasingly we are seeing people who do not necessarily need hospital treatment. People should consider other options such as NHS Direct, their local pharmacy, the Walk in Centre or their GP before choosing A&E.
"Inevitably the winter period will be an even busier time for us as we often see a lot of people with broken bones or sprains due to ice and snow. Therefore we need patients to help us by making an informed choice about their care as this will help us to manage our time at the department with patients who really need emergency treatment. It may be that A&E is the right place for many patients, but we still get some people turning up with minor conditions, coughs, colds or the flu which can then put our staff and other patients at risk of infection. There is lots of information on the internet to help patients choose a care provider more effectively, but obviously our advice to anyone who feels they really need emergency care is to come to A&E.”
Clinical Director, Dr Suzanne Brady, says: “There is a four hour waiting target in A&E and we are measured against lots of different indicators including; the total time patients spend in the Department, the time it takes for their initial assessment and the overall patient’s experience. All of these targets are really important but they add to the time it takes for us to see patients through the department. We need to manage demand and encourage patients to choose the right health care provider first time.”