NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde hospitals, like many others around the country, are exceptionally busy at this time of year - especially the Emergency Departments.
The board is urging people to make full use of NHS 24, pharmacies and its dedicated Minor Injury Units (MIUs) to ensure they are treated quicker and ease pressure on busy Emergency Departments.
Members of the public are being reminded that while staff are always there for them when needed, it’s important that medical attention will always be prioritised to those who most urgently require it.
There are often more appropriate options rather than attending an Emergency Department, which is for serious injuries and major emergencies only.
Those who are unwell and need advice can use the self-help guides at www.nhsinform.scot to check symptoms. Community pharmacies are also a good source of advice and can help deal with a range of minor ailments. Coughs, colds and flu like symptoms can all be helped with over the counter remedies. Pharmacists can also help with medication that has previously been prescribed by a GP.
Dentists and opticians also provide emergency services.
Alternatively, people should call NHS 24 on 111 if they are too ill to wait until their GP surgery or dental practice reopens.
Our Minor Injuries Units (MIUs) are staffed by highly experienced Emergency Nurse Practitioners who treat a range of minor injuries, including sprains and cuts and broken bones.
In Greater Glasgow and Clyde we have three dedicated minor injuries units– at Stobhill, Victoria and Vale of Leven Hospitals – which open seven days a week, 365 days a year. And from 3rd January, a fourth Minor Injuries Unit will open for the winter at West Glasgow Ambulatory Care Hospital (formerly Yorkhill Hospital).
There’s no need to make an appointment and with an average waiting time of less than two hours, they’ll be able to patch you up quickly and send you on your way.
Dr Jennifer Armstrong, Medical Director, NHSGGC, said: “As always at this time of year, our staff are seeing an increasing number of patients at our Emergency Departments. It’s thanks to the hard work of our staff that they are continue to deliver safe and efficient patient care while so many people attend our hospitals.
“Many people who attend our Emergency Departments do so unnecessarily and could be treated far more effectively by calling NHS 24 or speaking with their pharmacist.
“NHS 24 can advise when our MIUs would be a more appropriate hospital setting for treatment rather than our Emergency Departments. It’s important for people to understand that our MIUs have the capacity to see more patients with minor or less serious injuries.
“They have rapid access to highly skilled clinical teams including imaging and by using them you will receive swift treatment and a speedier return home, while leaving emergency department teams to concentrate on more seriously ill patients.
“In many cases our MIUs are often the best healthcare setting for people to attend, meaning they don’t even need to attend one of our Emergency Departments.”
Notes to editors:
Run by specialist emergency nurse practitioners, backed up by emergency medicine consultants, MIUs are open between 9am and 9pm (West Glasgow Ambulatory Care Hospital will close at 5pm) seven days a week for patients who are not seriously injured or ill enough to go to a full-blown emergency department.
For further information either telephone 0141 201 4429 or email [email protected]