Hospital appeal as number attending Emergency Department peaks

Dr Gillian Rankin.
Dr Gillian Rankin.

THE Director of Acute Services at the Southern Health Trust has made a direct appeal to the public after the number of people attending Craigavon Hospital’s Emergency Department peaked in recent days.

Over the course of a recent weekend, the number of people attending the department was significantly higher than would be expected over a normal weekend. There has also been a marked increase in the numbers of acutely ill patients.

Dr Gillian Rankin said, “It is crucially important that only those people with emergency conditions should attend the Emergency Department. These busy departments continue to provide care and treatment to patients but the public can play a significant role in helping to ease the burden.

“Staff in Emergency Departments are there to provide specialised treatment for people who are seriously ill or injured and need to be treated urgently. Too often, we find our time and resources taken up by people whose ailments are neither serious nor urgent.”

Dr Rankin added, “Trust staff will always do everything they can to ensure that all patients are treated as quickly and safely as possible but we appeal to everyone to help us to help those who need us most at this busy time. Remember there are other services that can help you so please think carefully before choosing the right one. For example if you have a minor ailment, a visit to your pharmacist may be all you need or you can attend a Minor Injuries Unit for treatment of a minor condition like cuts, sprains, minor burns etc...

“GPs (or GP Out of Hours), and local pharmacists all provide non-emergency treatment in the community and I would urge people, where appropriate, to use those services instead.”