Date of release: 30 December 2014
Joint news release from Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust and Wolverhampton Clinical Commissioning Group
Health chiefs in Wolverhampton are urging patients to stay away from A&E if they think they have flu.
Over the past week, hundreds of people have attended A&E in New Cross Hospital with flu-like symptoms, meaning that patients with more serious illnesses or injuries are waiting longer to be seen.
Wolverhampton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which funds healthcare services for the city, and The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust are calling on patients with flu to rest at home rather than go to A&E.
Manjeet Garcha, Director of Nursing and Quality at Wolverhampton CCG, said: “A&E is only for people with more serious problems such as broken bones, injuries that need surgical treatment or where there is a lot of bleeding, or more serious illnesses such as severe pain or collapse.
“If you think you have flu, the best treatment is bed rest, drinking plenty of fluid and using over-the-counter medication. Don’t go to your GP, A&E or other public places, as the virus can spread very quickly. If you still feel ill after a few days, contact your GP.
“However, if you have a child under five who becomes unwell with a high temperature, or you are in a high risk group, you should seek advice sooner from your GP or NHS 111.
“I would also urge anyone who is at risk of developing complications from flu and hasn’t had the flu vaccine to arrange an appointment with their GP surgery as soon as possible.”
Gwen Nuttall, Chief Operating Officer at The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust said:
“During the winter months and especially the Christmas and New Year holiday period, New Cross Hospital is even busier than usual, so it’s essential that our doctors and nurses have the time to look after those people who really need their care. When people go to A&E with minor illnesses or injuries, this means that the most seriously ill patients have to wait longer before being attended to.
“We would ask people with flu to rest at home rather than going to A&E, and if they’re not sure what to do, to call NHS111 for advice.”
People can help stop the spread of flu by taking the following steps:
- Washing their hands frequently with soap and water;
- Regularly cleaning surfaces such as computer keyboards, phones and door handles;
- Using tissues to cover their mouth and nose when they cough or sneeze;
- Putting used tissues in a bin as soon as possible.
Those most at risk from the effects of flu include people aged over 65, pregnant women, children aged between two and four, anyone with a long term health condition, and people of all ages with a weakened immune system – for example, patients taking steroids or undergoing treatment for cancer.
If you’re not sure which health service to use, visit the Choose Well website http://www.choosewellmidlands.nhs.uk/ , which contains lots of useful information about the different services available, or call the free advice helpline NHS111.
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Notes to Editors
Wolverhampton Clinical Commissioning Group
Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) took over the responsibility of commissioning health services on 1 April 2013 as part of the Government’s plans for the NHS under the Health and Social Care Act 2012. The groups, which are led by doctors and nurses, work together to manage their local budgets and buy health services for patients direct with other NHS colleagues and local authorities. By being in charge of the decisions that affect their patients, the CCGs are able to commission quality care that is tailored to meet the specific needs of their patients and the wider community.
Wolverhampton CCG is responsible for buying healthcare services for a population of 250,000 Wolverhampton residents. It is made up of 49 GP practices.
The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust
One of the largest NHS providers in the West Midlands, The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust provides hospital and community services for the people of Wolverhampton, South Staffordshire and the wider West Midlands. With an operating budget of more than £480 million, it employs more than 9,300 people and has more than 800 beds on two sites.