Public thanked for choosing wisely as Devon's Emergency Departments remain extremely busy

11 Mar 2022

Devon’s Emergency Departments remain extremely busy.  The NHS in Devon is thanking people for their patience with staff who are working to see everyone as soon as possible, but must prioritise those with the most urgent needs.  Additionally the number of inpatients with Covid-19 has risen by more than one third in the last week.

People can do their bit to support the NHS, including choosing the right service for their needs:

  • Keep the Emergency Department (Accident and Emergency) for emergencies. If your condition is not an emergency, choose a different service. You may have to wait a bit longer for treatment if it isn’t urgent.
  • Use your local pharmacist for minor conditions such as insect bites, ear ache, skin rashes.
  • Use the HANDi paediatric app for advice on common childhood illnesses
  • Use NHS 111 – online or by phone if you need advice or medical treatment quickly and can’t wait to see your GP. If you need to be seen by a Minor Injuries or Emergency Department they can book you in.
  • Get vaccinated against Covid
  • Covid-19 is still very much here so continue to maintain good hygiene, especially hand hygiene, to reduce the spread of Covid-19.
  • Collect friends or family members from hospital as soon as possible when they are ready to leave. It means their bed can be given to the next person who needs it.

Dr Anthony Hemsley, Medical Director at the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust said: “Along with other NHS services across Devon, our Emergency Department is extremely busy.

“Our staff are doing everything they can to give people the care they need as quickly as possible - please help us to look after those who need us most by making use of other local health services where you can.

“If you have a minor injury or urgent health problem which isn't life-threatening, please call NHS 111 or visit NHS 111 online and they’ll advise you on the best place to go.

“If you attend an Emergency Department for anything which is not serious or life-threatening, you are likely to face a long wait.

“We’d like to thank the public for choosing the right service for their needs, and for continuing to be kind, patient and understanding towards our staff, who are doing their very best to care for them.”



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