People in Oxfordshire are being urged to only use Emergency Departments in genuine emergencies as hospitals in the county continue to be very busy.
Sam Foster, Oxford University Hospital NHS Foundation Trusts’s Chief Nursing Officer, said: “Our Emergency Departments, especially at the John Radcliffe Hospital, are extremely busy at the moment.
“We strongly advise that unless it is an emergency, you use the NHS 111 online service which can offer you quick advice on the best way for you to get the care you need.
“There are alternatives available to A&E if do not need urgent care – your local GP, pharmacist, or Minor Injury Unit can also provide medical help.
“If you come to A&E and it’s not an emergency, you run the risk of a long wait as we will always prioritise patients in order of clinical need.
“Our teams continue to work exceptionally hard both in our hospitals, and across the health system with our health and social care colleagues to alleviate pressures.”
Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is also asking families to help their loved ones home from hospital if they are able to.
Lily O’Connor, Director for Urgent Care in Oxfordshire, said: “Delays in discharging medically-fit patients from hospital mean that we are unable to use those beds for new patients coming in. None of us want to see lengthy ambulance waits at the ‘front door’ of our Emergency Departments, which mean that paramedics are unable to respond to other 999 calls in the community. We want patients who need treatment in our hospitals to be where they need to be.
“If you have a relative or loved one in hospital who is well enough to go home but is waiting to be discharged with home care and community health support, one of the best ways to support both them and us is to help them at home if you and your family are in a position to support them.
“We are working hard with our social care colleagues to try and get as many of our patients home safely from hospital as soon as possible. Priority is being given to our most vulnerable patients, and alternative health and care packages such as transferring patients to interim beds are being offered as a short-term measure.
“We will always support people to get home with appropriate care packages if needed – there are criteria in place to make sure care is given to the right people.”
Thank you for helping to support our staff and people who genuinely need emergency care at this challenging time.
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Published: 3 February 2022