Only use A&E for life-threatening emergencies during strike action, nursing chief urges

Read the latest column from Hayley Flavell, director of nursing at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust.

I would like to reassure you that we, along with our health and social care partners, are doing all we can to keep disruption to a minimum as today and tomorrow sees strike action by nurses and the ambulance service next Monday.

Nurses at our hospitals (Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and Telford's Princess Royal Hospital) will not be taking part in the action by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) this week, but we are working with our partners to minimise the impact of any of the strikes.

We would also like to ask you to support us by choosing the most appropriate service should you need medical help.

A&E is for genuinely life-threatening emergencies – for example chest pains or severe bleeding or burns. If you have a life-threatening illness or injury please continue to dial 999.

If your condition is not life-threatening, please think of the different treatment options available and visit your local pharmacy or NHS 111 online which will advise you where to go for advice or treatment. More details are available on our website sath.nhs.uk

At Princess Royal Hospital (PRH) in Telford we have recently launched self-service kiosks at the Accident and Emergency Department to ensure patients are directed to the most appropriate place for their care.

This urgent care self-service tool, also known as the streaming and redirection tool, will help both you and us. It aims to reduce long waits in A&E with patients directed to a more appropriate place for their care as those in urgent need of care are prioritised for treatment in A&E.

Patients who arrive at PRH’s A&E with no pre-booked arrival time will be able to use the kiosks, which provide the online self-service tool, between 11am and 7pm, seven days a week.

They will answer questions about their symptoms at A&E. Depending on the answers given, this could mean people are seen where they are, or directed to other services in the area that can best meet their needs.

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I was really encouraged by the findings of the 2022 CQC Maternity Survey. The survey, which involved 121 NHS Trusts in England, indicates what our service users feel we are doing well and which areas we should focus on for further improvements.

Our organisation’s results were better, or somewhat better, than most other trusts in six questions. We also had the highest score in the region for the theme ‘feeding your baby’.

Our results showed that new mothers feel supported and listened to whilst using our services before, during and after birth. They also felt able to access help when they needed it, which is very positive.

The feedback from our service users is so important to us and I would like to thank all those who took the time to share their feedback.

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The first of a range of awareness sessions on the Hospitals Transformation Programme (HTP) is to be held on Tuesday, January 24, at 6.30pm.

If you are interested in finding out more about HTP, please join the About Health event. You will be given the chance to meet members of the HTP team and key clinical leads to find out more on how the plans have been developed, opportunities for you to get involved and what will happen next.

To register your interest in the virtual event please contact sath.improvinghospitals@nhs.net. You can also find out more information and register for the event by clicking on the link bit.ly/3Xy4QWq

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