Across West Berkshire the public are being asked to continue to consider all the options available before going to the accident and emergency department.
With the winter bringing more ill-health amongst all age groups, demand on the health system is increased, with attendance at the accident and emergency department particularly affected. The A&E at Royal Berkshire has been under sustained pressure since Christmas and patients are being asked to continue to think carefully before attending.
In hospitals’ Emergency Departments (A&E), priority is given to patients with very serious and life-threatening conditions such as loss of consciousness, suspected heart attack or stroke, severe breathing difficulties or severe bleeding that cannot be stopped. if you fall into these categories, please come to A&E immediately so we can care for you.
If you, or someone you care for, is feeling unwell, there are a number of ways to get the right care:
For minor injuries or illness you can also attend a Walk In Centre or Minor Injuries Unit: these services are run by a team of highly qualified clinical practitioners with a lot of expertise in the treatment of minor injuries including deep cuts, sprains and strains, broken bones (fractures), bites and stings (including problems): minor eye infections, scratches or something lodged in your eye.
If you are not sure please call NHS 111 for advice or to be directed to the best local service to treat your injury or illness.
We are lucky in West Berkshire, as many services are available:
Mary Sherry, Chief Operating Officer at the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, said: “All Emergency Departments continue to be under sustained heavy pressure. We are seeing a continued stream of very sick patients and we are working hard to care for them. Whilst the situation is still manageable, it is important that people consider other NHS services first and only use emergency departments for emergencies.”
Sam Burrows, Director of Strategy at Berkshire West Clinical Commissioning Groups, added: “The whole NHS system here in West Berkshire wants to provide the right level of care, for each person who needs it, in the right place and at the right time. Besides the GP and A&E, there are many options for people, including pharmacy advice, walk in and urgent care centres, and, of course, NHS111. There are always good alternatives available for patients worried about their health.”