UPPER Bann MP David Simpson has urged people to be sure to only avail of A&E services at Craigavon Area Hospital when it is appropriate.
Speaking after touring the department he said: “The holiday season will undoubtedly place additional strain upon our Health Service. I would ask people reflect carefully on their use of emergency departments in hospitals. People should only present to an Emergency Department if they need emergency treatment.
“An audit carried in August 2011 to evaluate the appropriateness of attendances at the Emergency Department of Craigavon Area Hospital found that over a third (34.8%) of attendances did not require this specialist care and could have been safely and appropriately treated by their GP or other community services.
“Staff in Emergency Departments provide specialised treatment for people who are seriously ill or injured and who need urgent treatment.
“An Emergency Department provides the quickest and most effective emergency treatment to those people who need it most. Diverting those resources away to treat minor ailments only places lives at risk.
“I was delighted to get this opportunity to tour the A&E department at Craigavon Area Hospital and would appeal to everyone to do all they can to assist hard working staff over the holiday period.”