Plea to keep A&E free for those in need

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The East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust is urging people to keep safe and ensure A&E is kept free for only those people who really need it.

Sarah Wilmer, head of nursing for urgent care, said, “It’s really important, especially at Christmas, that local people help us to keep A&E free for those people who really need it.

“A&E doctors and nurses will continue to prioritise those patients who urgently need our help and work with those patients who come to the department with minor illnesses to help them find the most appropriate service.”

The most common reasons for patients attending A&E who could be better treated elsewhere include non-traumatic limb pain and minor illness, bites and stings, dental problems and back pain.

The trust said it is vital patients remember A&E is for serious or life-threatening situations.

These include severe chest pain, a suspected heart attack or stroke, suspected meningitis, injuries such as fractures or major burns, breathing difficulties, unconsciousness,heavy or uncontrolled bleeding , suspected drug overdose, sudden and severe headaches or severe head injuries.

Patients who do not need to come into A&E could be better treated at other health services,such as a GP, pharmacist, dentist or by calling the NHS on 111.