Help us, help you, say QE staff

Posted on Thu, 28/11/2019

Sign for QE emergency department

Senior emergency medical staff from the QE Hospital in Gateshead have been helping the public understand the pressures facing the NHS in winter and offering advice on the best places for getting care.

In a new video, Dr Jennifer Rhodes, an Emergency Medicine Consultant in the hospital’s A&E department, explains how the system works, why it gets so busy during the winter and what the public should do to make sure they get the right care when they need it.

Dr Rhodes, says: "If you are not seriously ill, A&E may not be the best place for you to get the treatment you need and you may wait for a long time. Emergency medical staff are trained to deal with the most severe and life-threatening conditions.

"By seeking alternative care, you will be helping our highly trained urgent care staff to treat the patients only they can care for. Arriving in A&E by ambulance does not mean patients will be seen more quickly; all patients are triaged and seen in order of severity of their illness or injury, which means if you’re not seriously ill, you’ll wait longer." 

There are many NHS alternatives to A&E when you or your family are feeling ill.

Blaydon Walk-in Centre is a nurse-led unit for patients with minor injuries and illnesses. It offers high-quality care, often with much shorter waits. You do not need an appointment for this walk-in centre, just turn up and wait your turn to be treated. 

If you do have an urgent medical need but aren’t sure whether it’s an emergency, then NHS 111 is available to help 24/7. You can call 111 or go to go to (for people aged 5 and over only). For children, the free NHS child health app is also a very useful resource for parents to access specific advice.

For coughs, colds and other common winter illnesses, make use of your local pharmacy for confidential, expert advice. Many minor ailments can be treated using over-the-counter medicines and expert advice from a pharmacist.

Call us on 0191 482 0000

In emergencies dial 999 / Non-emergencies dial 111

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