A&E warning of dire DIY weekend

Staff in the region's busiest A&E department are gearing up for Black Monday – the busiest time of year for the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

The May Bank holiday weekend is the busiest time of the year for the hospital and staff are asking the public to think carefully about their health needs over the weekend and to use common sense to avoid accidents and injuries.

The weather in May, combined with the pollen season, people pursuing outdoor activities, and DIY, all contributes to the busiest time of year for Accident and Emergency staff.

And for the region's busiest emergency department DIY might as well stand for Do an Injury to Yourself as people arrive bearing the scars of home improvement, gardening or sports activities.

Most of the people (76 per cent) who attend A&E do so with minor injuries or ailments or even because they have forgotten to order prescriptions in time for the bank holidays.

Mandy Lees, A&E senior nurse manager, said: “Last year we undertook a survey of patients attending the A&E department which showed that 50% of them did so without seeking help or advice from another NHS healthcare professional first, with 18% saying the bank holiday period was the sole reason for their decision to attend A&E.

We do see a lot of people who have caused themselves an injury by either overexerting themselves or by injuring themselves using power tools, gardening implements, or falling off ladders. With a bit of common sense all these injuries are avoidable. The May bank holiday period is a notoriously busy time and priority will be given to those who need emergency care”.

The NHS in Norfolk provides a full range of services every day of the year including over the  May bank holiday:

Norwich NHS Walk In Centre

For minor injuries and illnesses, visit the Norwich NHS Walk-In Centre, Dussindale, Thorpe St. Andrew, Norwich, telephone 01603 300122.  The team of experienced nurses will assess, advise and treat people without an appointment. The Centre is open on weekdays and Saturdays from 7 am to 10 pm, and Sundays and bank holidays from 9 am to 10 pm.  

Cromer Minor Injuries Unit

Cromer Hospital’s Minor Injuries Unit, Mill Road, is open from 8am to 10pm, seven days a week, and its nurses can treat a range of minor injuries, including:

  • Minor head injuries (with no loss of consciousness)
  • Simple wounds
  • Simple eye conditions, foreign body, corneal abrasions
  • Minor burns
  • Soft tissue injury
  • Bites and stings, with no associated complications, or acute reaction
  • Simple fractures

GP Out of hours (inc weekends and public holidays)

When your GP’s surgery is closed, Anglian Medical Care provides family medical care overnight, at weekends and on bank holidays.  Either call your doctors number and listen to the answer’ phone message or call the service direct on 01603 488488.  A doctor will assess your problem and will either give advice over the phone, arrange a home visit from a GP or other qualified professional, or ask you to visit your nearest centre for treatment.  

Emergency NHS dental care

If you have dental pain and need advice or treatment during the evening, at a weekend or a public holiday call this number: 08456 003246. You will be able to get advice on pain relief or an appointment will be made for you to see an emergency dental practitioner within 24 hours.

The service is open weekdays and weekends (between 18.00 and 08.30), and on bank holidays.

NHS Direct

For free, confidential advice from experienced nurses call NHS Direct 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 0845 46 47 or visit NHS Direct Online at www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk the website includes a self help guide, a health encyclopaedia and links to other useful sources of health information. 

When your GP’s surgery is closed and one of the other services is not appropriate, pharmacies can also often give health advice especially concerning medicines.

The A&E department of the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital is the busiest in the region (Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire) and treated 72,048 patients during 2005/06.

Thursday 25th of May 2006 04:00:44 AM