Warning as Sunderland and South Tyneside hospitals under pressure with record A&E attendances
Health bosses at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust are urging members of the public to use health services sensibly as staff continue to deal with the pressures caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Over the past few weeks, Sunderland and South Tyneside have seen some of the highest Covid-19 infection rates in England.
Despite the numbers now reducing, cases still remain high and so does the number of people in hospital with Covid-19.
To add to the pressure, the Trust is also seeing record numbers of people coming into its two emergency departments at South Tyneside District Hospital and Sunderland Royal Hospital.
Dr Shaz Wahid, Medical Director at the Trust said: “We are always here if people need us but we are seeing people in our emergency (A&E) departments that could have been cared for more appropriately elsewhere. So we would urge people to think pharmacy, GP and 111.
“Those that do turn up to our emergency departments will of course be assessed clinically by a member of our team, but will be re-directed to a more appropriate service for their needs or face a very long wait if they don’t need emergency care.
“By thinking of alternative services people will be doing their bit to keep emergency services for those that really need it. You will also be supporting our fantastic teams, who have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic.
“Please remember that NHS 111 online or by calling NHS 111 you can make direct appointments at GP surgeries, pharmacies and urgent treatment centres with additional GP appointments available during evenings and weekends.
"Your GP or nurse practitioner may ask to speak to you over the telephone in the first instance, but will make a face to face appointment with you if they feel you need to be seen.”