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Health Tips/News - Public Urged to Use the Emergency Department Wisely Over Winter

Posted on 18/12/2018 by

St Helens Winter

People in Forth Valley are being urged to use the Emergency Department at Forth Valley Royal Hospital wisely over the winter period and not attend with minor, non-urgent health issues which can be dealt with by other local health services.

As NHS staff gear up for one of the busiest times of year they are still regularly seeing people turning up at the Emergency Department with coughs and colds, viral infections, earache, dental problems such as toothache, constipation and chronic ailments such as back pain.

Most of these do not require a trip to the Emergency Department and instead patients should seek advice from NHS inform, speak to a local pharmacist or contact their dentist or GP.

NHS Forth Valley’s Medical Director Andrew Murray said: “Winter is a particularly busy time for the NHS and we would ask people to think carefully before turning up at the Emergency Department. This means those who really need hospital care can be treated as quickly as possible.”

We can sometimes have more than 200 patients a day presenting at our Emergency Department. Anyone who turns up with a serious illness or injury will always be given priority however others with less serious issues may face longer waits.”

The dedicated nurse-led Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) at Stirling Health and Care Village will remain open every day over the festive period from 9.00am until 9.00pm. It can treat adults and children over the age of one for cuts and grazes, minor burns, sprains and strains. It can also treat minor eye and ear injuries and X-ray and treat a number of limb injuries (including suspected broken ankles and wrists).

A small number of pharmacists in Forth Valley will be open for short periods of time on Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day and the 2nd January 2019 – details are available on the Winter Zone of NHS Forth Valley’s website  Under a new scheme called Pharmacy First, all pharmacists in Forth Valley are now able to provide free treatment for a range of common conditions without a GP prescription. These include urine infections, conjunctivitis, skin conditions (such as eczema, dermatitis and reactions to insect bites) skin infections (such as cellulitis and impetigo) and thrush.

GP practices will be open as normal on Monday 24th December and Monday 31stDecember 2018 and will only be closed for two days at Christmas and two days at New Year. Anyone who is concerned about their symptoms and don’t feel they can wait until their GP surgery re-opens should call NHS 24 free on 111 for advice.

Local opticians across Forth Valley can provide advice and support for a wide range of eye conditions such as blurred vision and eye infections. They can treat and manage many conditions themselves or refer you directly to hospital if the problem is more serious.

Details of local health services, including pharmacy opening times over the festive period, can be found on our Winter Zone .  You can also contact NHS inform free on 0800 22 44 88 for health information and advice.

Source: NHSForthValley