South Tynesiders are being asked to help deal with the very sick over the forthcoming bank holiday weekend.
This follows an increased demand on NHS services in the borough.
South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust’s Chief Operating Officer Michelle Arrowsmith said: “We have faced sustained, unprecedented demand on our Accident & Emergency services in recent months and, with the August Bank Holiday approaching, we expect that our staff will be extremely busy, which could mean some patients waiting longer than we would like in A&E.
“The public can really help us to manage the pressure by remembering that A&E is for serious and life-threatening injuries and conditions in the main.”
The Trust has issued a number of advice points for patients:
l Ask your local community pharmacist for help, advice and support to treat common or less serious illnesses, such as coughs, colds, upset stomachs and skin problems.
l If you take prescribed medicines, make sure that you have enough to last over the holiday period.
l If you or one of your relatives is a frequent patient at the hospital, make sure that you, your GP and your community nurse have an up-to-date plan which will help you to manage your condition at home.
l Know the opening times of your own GP practice and if you are feeling poorly get an appointment as soon as you can with your own doctor – don’t leave it too late.
l Dial NHS 111 if you are unsure which service you need.
For information on walk-in centres across South Tyneside, urgent care centres or minor injuries units, go to www.nhs.uk and type in your postcode.