Just 5pc of people at A&E need to be there medically, says new report
- Credit: Archant
Just one in twenty people who present themselves at King George Hospital’s A&E actually need to be there, shocking new statistics reveal.
In a report to Redbridge Council’s health scrutiny committee on Thursday (February 22), it was revealed that doctors consider only around 5pc of visits to the emergency department in Barley Lane, Goodmayes, are warranted.
The A&E records an average of between 8,000 and 10,000 visitors a month, which means that only around 500 need to be there for emergency treatment.
And health bosses say that around 6,000 people who show up at the hospital’s A&E are suffering from conditions so minor that they are re-routed to self-care once they are seen by an emergency department doctor.
Astoundingly, 4,000 of those had already been to see their GP, and were simply seeking a second opinion.
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In a notice on its website this week, Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust (BHRUT) – which also runs Romford’s Queen’s hospital – urged residents not to needlessly visit emergency departments.
It said: “Our hospitals are extremely busy. If you are feeling unwell and worried about your symptoms there are lots of alternative ways to get medical advice quickly. Please only come to our emergency departments in a real emergency so we can focus on the patients who really need us.”
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The trust also urges residents to call 111 if they feel poorly, as this service will be able to direct them to the best care. Urgent, same day GP appointments are also available every day – call 020 3770 1888 to book – and pharmacies and walk-in centres can also provide treatment and advice.
Havering Clinical Commissioning Group chairman Dr Atul Aggarwal advised residents to make a pharmacy their first stop when they are feeling under the weather.
He said: “Pharmacists don’t just dispense prescriptions; they are highly trained professionals who can assess symptoms, offer advice, recommend over-the-counter medicines and, if the illness is something more serious, signpost patients to the right medical care.
“Most people live within easy reach of a pharmacy, so if you or your child is suffering with a minor ailment, make your local pharmacist your first port of call.”