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A and E in winter

As the weather gets colder again and more people are coming to hospital, Ashford and St. Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is recommending local people to think carefully about where to get the right help when they are feeling unwell.

Chief Nurse Sue Tranka says: “Our Emergency Department is particularly busy at the moment, and in order to get the best treatment for you and your family, you need to make sure you choose the most appropriate service. This might be your GP, a local walk-in centre or, for simple coughs and colds, the local pharmacist. Many people think A&E is the quick and easy option but more often than not coming to hospital emergency departments will mean longer waits, often in busy and crowded waiting rooms. In most cases, unless you really are an emergency, you are likely to be seen more quickly elsewhere.”

As the temperature drops more adults and children will come to hospital with breathing problems and chest infections, meaning busy emergency departments with long waits – a pattern which is being repeated across most local hospitals in Surrey.

Sue continues: “If you or your children feel unwell and ‘over the counter’ medicines are not helping, then don’t wait for it to get worse – speak to your GP and it may avoid a trip to hospital at a later date. Keeping warm will also help you to stay well, particularly for older people, and you should make sure your medicine cabinet is stocked up with basics, such as paracetamol and a thermometer. Keep a good supply of your regular medications and if you need a repeat prescription, contact your GP.”