Yellow figures appear in Ilford to inform people A&E is for ‘urgent care’ only
PUBLISHED: 10:18 12 February 2013 | UPDATED: 10:26 12 February 2013
Yellow figures, standing seven foot tall, appeared in Ilford Town Centre on Thursday to show that patients with minor illnesses and injuries do not always need to go to A&E.
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The large models, which depicted different types of medical problems, were on display in High Road, Ilford, to promote better use of A&E by the public.
Statistics reveal that of the 26,452 calls attended by the London Ambulance service in Redbridge, 3,654 could have been avoided between April 2012 and January 2013.
The primary care trust campaign also revealed that Monday mornings are the busiest days for A&E departments and that an estimated 40 per cent of people do not need to be there.
The campaign aims to promote the ways a patient can be treated without going to A&E, as pharmacists can help with headaches and diarrhoea, while walk-in services and minor injury units can help with cuts, minor infections and sprains.
Redbridge clinical director Dr Anil Mehta said: “When you need urgent care or are unwell, it is difficult to know where you should go for treatment.
“But A&E shouldn’t automatically be the place to go for any problem. This puts a lot of pressure on A&E and increases waiting times for those patients who are genuinely in need of urgent medical attention.
“All we want patients to do is take a few minutes to understand where their local services are and what they can treat.”
The latest figures from the London Ambulance Service also show that 15 per cent of almost 200,000 people in the seven east London boroughs who phoned 999 last year did not need to be taken to A&E.
Dr Derek Hicks, clinical director for emergency care at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust, added: “At A&E, we are here to make sure that people are treated, but we often get people coming in for things that are far from life threatening.”
The A&E at King George Hospital, Barley Lane, Goodmayes, is earmarked for closure when Queen’s in Romford is deemed fit enough to cope with the extra demand.