Dr Mark Shenton, a GP in Stowmarket and chairman of NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group said: “The festive season is always a busy time for NHS services and staff. This is why it is so important for people to make the right choice and choose the most appropriate place to go for treatment should they need it.
"People should remember that their hospital’s emergency department (A&E) is the place to go only if you've had a serious accident or have a medical emergency.”
Dr Christopher Browning, a GP in Long Melford and chairman of NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group said:" During this busy time we want people to consider the other healthcare options available to them. By making the right choice people will get treated more quickly and emergency department staff will be able to focus on helping people with serious, life-threatening conditions."
Carolyn Tester, transformation lead at Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust said: "We would urge everyone to think carefully about the best place to go for treatment this winter. We never turn patients away but ask people to use their emergency department responsibly and only come if absolutely necessary."
Jon Green, chief operating officer at West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Emergency departments come under increasing pressure, particularly over the winter period. It’s important that as far as possible we make sure that the people who visit the department really need to be there. There are other services that provide urgent advice and assistance and we are working to encourage local people to use these services when appropriate. Pharmacists, GPs and the 111 telephone service are all geared up to help people who need support, but whose condition is not serious and life-threatening.”
Find out more about keeping healthy and well over winter at www.nhs.uk/staywell
Download our 'Stay Well this Christmas and New Year' leaflet with advice on where to find help over the festive season
Issued by The Communications Team on 01473 770014
NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group – www.ipswichandeastsuffolkccg.nhs.uk
NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group – www.westsuffolkccg.nhs.uk