Dr Ali has reviewed all A&E discharges from Bedford Hospital over the past 6 months and has noticed that there have been some inappropriate A&E attendances.
Dr Ali would like to politely remind patients that A&E should only be used in critical or life-threatening situations.
Please see below guidelines for what we hope will reduce inappropriate A&E attendances.
Think before you dial 999
Do you really need an ambulance?
It is sometimes difficult to know whether or not you need an ambulance. It is important to dial 999 if there is a medical emergency, such as:
¨ If a person is unconscious or not breathing
¨ Has difficulty breathing
¨ Has sustained a serious injury
¨ Has uncontrolled bleeding or heavy blood loss
¨ Has severe chest pain
¨ Has severe abdominal pain
¨ Has taken an overdose
Do you really need to go to A&E?
Please don’t go to the A&E department unless you have a critical or life threatening problem.
The basic cost price of an A&E attendance is £138 per patient before treatment or investigations.
NHS 111 is a department of Health idea of a single point of access for urgent care which seeks to improve and simplify access to non-emergency health care by providing a memorable three-digit telephone number that is free to the caller.
By calling NHS 111 callers get immediate access to clinical advice on their condition or triaged over the phone and then sign posted to the appropriate services.
If the reason for the call turns out to be an emergency, the call will be immediately passed to ambulance dispatch, which will then be managed just as if you had dialled 999.
The line is staffed by a team of fully-trained call handlers supported by experienced senior clinical advisors, who will assess the symptoms and then signpost the caller directly to the most appropriate place of care.
Whether an out of hours doctor, a district nurse, a 24 hour chemist or an emergency dentist is needed, the NHS 111 team will make sure service users get the right help, first time.
The NHS 111 service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Calls from landlines and mobile phones are free - just like 999.
Call NHS 111 when:
¨ Its not a 999 emergency
¨ You think you need to go to the emergency department or another NHS urgent care service
¨ You don't think it can wait for an appointment with your GP, or if you don't know who to call for
For less urgent health needs you should still contact your GP in the usual way.
For immediate, life-threatening emergencies, you should call 999.