Grantham Journal column: A&E - emergencies only
Each year we expect winter to be worse than previous years.
Our population is getting older and they have greater healthcare needs.
In preparation for winter all of our plans are geared up towards an increase in demand.
All through the year we keep an eye on the dependency of our patients and the demand on our services so we forecast as close as we can on what’s going to turn up.
This year’s plan has been developed for some time and it feels as if winter is already here for us at the hospitals.
We are seeing increased numbers already turning up at our A&E departments already.
Strategies are in place to make sure patients do not stay in hospital any longer than they need to.
We know from feedback from patients that waiting for things like drugs or services to be in place in order for them to go home annoy and frustrates them.
We are doing a number of schemes to reduce the amount of time people spend in our beds and stay on our wards.
We are making sure the patients coming to our A&E see the correct doctors or services they need to.
A&E is for emergency patients and not for when people have not been able to access other services.
We ask that people keep A&Es for those with serious or life-threatening illnesses.
We know that around 30 per cent of people who visit A&E could be seen or treated by services outside of hospital.
You can help us by using the other services on offer.
This can include self care, a pharmacy, a GP or practice nurse, GP out of hours services, local urgent care and minor injury services and NHS 111.