Busy festive period for A&E
Over the festive period hard-working staff in the region's busiest casualty unit dealt with a seven and a half per cent increase in the number of people attending the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital's Accident and Emergency department.
The festive period proved very busy for Accident and Emergency (A&E) staff with 5,406 people attending the NNUH casualty department over the month up to January 1 2007. This means an additional 10 to 15 more people attended every day compared to the same time in 2005. Over the course of a full year the Norwich A&E service treats more than 72,000 people.
The week before Christmas proved quiet for A&E but the week between Christmas and New Year was very busy. Over the period December 28th 2006 to January 1st 2007, Norwich's A&E team dealt with:
|Discharged – no follow up||310||420||+6.8|
A&E senior nurse manager Mandy Lees said: “It has been a really busy couple of weeks and we have seen some very poorly people admitted but we have also seen a lot of people with relatively minor problems. A&E is designed for people with serious injury and illness and we would again ask people to access other local NHS services now that they are all fully open after the holiday break.”
GP surgeries are open and there is also an out-of-hours GP service which covers Norfolk and Waveney. It is there to assist anyone who needs urgent medical advice when their surgery is closed overnight, at week-ends and on bank holidays. They can be called direct on 01603 488488. Depending on the nature of the problem, a doctor may give advice over the telephone, ask the patient to visit the nearest local treatment centre or, if necessary, make a home visit.
At the Norwich NHS Walk-in Centre the nurse practitioners are able to treat and give advice for a range of minor illness and injury, including sore throats, skin, eye and urinary infections, tummy ache, strains and sprains, wound treatment and removing foreign bodies in the eye. No appointment is needed and patient's can go direct to the centre at Pound Lane, Thorpe St. Andrew (next to Sainsbury's). It is open on weekdays and Saturdays from 7 am to 10 pm and on Sundays and Bank holidays from 9 am to 10 pm.
The Norfolk NHS Direct call centre operates a 24 hour confidential service, responding to requests for information and advice and connecting people who are unsure whether they need medical help to appropriate services. Call NHS Direct on 0845 4647.
In an emergency, depending on the situation, people should dial 999 or go to A&E straight away. It is an emergency if the person is:
- Having a suspected heart attack
- Complaining of chest pains
- Losing a lot of blood
- Suspected of having a broken bone
- Suffering from a deep wound or head injury Struggling to breathe
If you suspect that someone has had a stroke do the F.A.S.T. test – test all three:
- Facial weakness: can the person smile? Has their mouth or eye dropped?
- Arm weakness: Can the person raise both arms?
- Speech problems: Can the person speak clearly and understand what you say?