People are being urged to ‘choose well’ and use the correct healthcare service over the summer months.
The call comes from the Southern Health and Social Care Trust’s new medical director Dr Richard Wright.
He said, “Even though there are fewer cases of colds and flu during the summer, our services continue to be busy, dealing with the ailments and accidents associated with the summer as well as attendances from holiday makers to our area.”
The Emergency Departments at Craigavon and Daisy Hill hospital provide care 24 hours a day. Hospital emergency departments are for people who are seriously ill or injured and need to be immediately treated.
Those with less urgent or serious conditions will have to wait whilst those most in need will be prioritised.
The GP Out of Hours Service should be used for serious urgent problems that cannot wait until your own GP surgery reopens. Always phone first on 028 3839 9201 as many patients can be given telephone advice and will not need to attend a centre. Patients who don’t phone first may have to wait longer to be seen or be redirected to a more appropriate service.
Dr Wright added, “We need to make sure that priority is given to the patients who need us most. It would be helpful if people ensure they have the repeat prescriptions they need before they go on holidays, stock up on medicines like paracetamol to help self-care and also think about getting advice from the local pharmacy for any minor ailments.”
He is also asking people to help prevent the spread of infections by not visiting hospital if they, or someone in their household, have symptoms of cold, vomiting or diarrhoea, and to ensure they wash their hands thoroughly or use the hand rub while at hospital..