Hospitals already 'under pressure' as bank holiday weekend looms

Hospital chiefs in South Tyneside have called on people to help relieve the ‘significant pressure’ their accident and emergency teams are under.
The emergency department at South Tyneside District Hospital.The emergency department at South Tyneside District Hospital.
The emergency department at South Tyneside District Hospital.

With the Easter holiday weekend still days away, South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust – which runs South Tyneside District Hospital – says it’s emergency teams are already extremely busy and people who turn up with ‘minor’ problems will face long waits.

The Trust says it’s A&E departments are “already under significant pressure” and is calling on people to consider whether a minor ailment could be better treated elsewhere.

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Those in a “life, limb or sight threatening condition” are being urged to seek help, but anyone else is likely to face a long wait to be seen.

Dr Shaz Wahid.Dr Shaz Wahid.
Dr Shaz Wahid.

Dr Shaz Wahid, the Trust’s executive medical director, said: “The Easter Bank Holiday is not even here yet and our departments are already

extremely busy.

“Please think about where the right place is for you to be treated before coming to us. Our priority is to deal with those who are most unwell or hurt.

“It is possible people may still be asked to seek care elsewhere after a long wait, so we can concentrate on those who need our help first.”

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He added: “Anyone who is facing threat to life, limb or sight should absolutely come to us.

“Otherwise, NHS 111 Online is always the best place to start to seek advice. It will help direct you to the right place for care, if you need to be seen, as well as lots of information about what you can do to treat a minor injury or illness.”

He added that, as the four-day weekend holiday approaches, now is the right point for people to prepare – with most shops closed on Easter Sunday and reduced hours on Good Friday and Easter Monday.

He said: “If you need to restock any prescription medications, there should still be time to get your repeat request in with your surgery.

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“It is also a good idea to make sure your medicine cabinet is stocked with useful items such as painkillers, plasters, indigestion and anti-diarrhoeal remedies at any time.

"Most of all, we want people to enjoy the long weekend, so these preparations can be a help in making sure you have a good Easter break and also help us manage demand for our frontline services.”


Pharmacies will be available over the bank holiday weekend and the Find a Pharmacy page online is helpful in finding

somewhere open close to you.

Go to

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Health advice and information is also available through the NHS App or the NHS website, or from local GP practice websites – which link to a range of online services, including ordering repeat prescriptions.

For children’s health advice you can download the Little Orange Book - with tips about a wide range of illnesses and conditions – at

Those looking after children can also visit the Healthier Together website at or download the app to a phone.

British Sign Language (BSL) speakers can make a BSL video call to 999.

Deaf people can use 18000 to contact 999 using text relay.

Anyone concerned about how much they, or someone they know, drinks, contact Drinkline on freephone 0300 123 1110 or Alcoholics Anonymous on 0845 769 7555.

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