KING’S LYNN: ‘Think twice’ plea to A & E patients as QEH struggles
Patients with minor conditions are being asked to think twice before going to the Accident and Emergency department at Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
The hospital says it is experiencing unprecedented demand and is under severe pressure, particularly from older patients who are affected by heart and respiratory problems in the winter.
Barbara Cummings, Director of Planning and Performance, said: “We have seen a sharp increase in the number of older patients being admitted with complex medical conditions and requiring urgent treatment. Clearly they need prompt attention, so we are asking people generally to think twice before they attend our A and E department with relatively minor conditions.
“If in doubt, please consult your GP or telephone the NHS for expert advice, either via NHS Direct on 0845 46 47 or the new 111 phone number.”
The East of England Ambulance Trust has revealed its new ‘roving admission avoidance car’ – which treats 999 callers with less serious conditions – has been sent to eight to ten patients a day since it was launched two weeks ago.
An emergency care practitioner (ECP) visits 999 callers who may not need to go to hospital.
The car was launched especially for the busy winter period and will continue until the end of March but the Trust will be evaluating if it could be of any more benefit in the future.
Teresa Church, general manager for Accident and Emergency Operations in Norfolk and Suffolk, said: “The scheme has been really successful saving an awful lot of admissions which is much better for patients who don’t actually need to go to hospital but might just need intervention at home.
“ECPs have a set of skills above a paramedic and can treat a wide range of conditions that could be managed at home but which are currently conveyed to hospital.”
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Weather for King's Lynn
Thursday 23 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 10 C
Wind Speed: 21 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 5 C to 11 C
Wind Speed: 25 mph
Wind direction: North east