Emergency care still available in Shropshire, heath bosses say as A&E patient numbers drop
Help for patients requiring urgent and emergency care remains available across Shropshire while health experts deal with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Although the advice for most people remains ‘stay at home’, medical care is still available through GP surgeries and the emergency departments at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and Princess Royal Hospital in Telford.
The county's A&Es, which remain open for patients who have suffered a serious injury, severe illness or medical emergency, have seen a drop in patient numbers in recent weeks.
In the week beginning March 16, the two emergency departments saw almost 1,700 patients attend compared with nearly 2,900 in the same week last year – a fall of about 1,200.
Emergency and life-threatening situations can include severe bleeding that cannot be stopped, persistent, severe chest or abdominal pain and patients blacking out.
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Dr Arne Rose, medical director at The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, which runs RSH and PRH, said: “Whilst the general advice is to stay at home as much as possible, and whilst we do have restrictions on visiting to our hospitals, it is important that people who need emergency care get that care as soon as possible.
“Some people may think that they are doing the right thing by not contacting their GP or not coming to A&E, but they could actually be making things worse for themselves in the long run.
“Our emergency departments are only for serious injury, severe illness or medical emergencies but, throughout this outbreak, they remain open and ready to help.”
GP practices are still operating but patients must not turn up at their practice without an appointment.
Nicky Wilde, director of primary care for Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin CCGs, said: “Anyone with Covid-19 related symptoms must contact 111 in the first instance, however GP practices are still open and during this period of Covid-19 we are asking patients not to turn up at their practice without a pre-booked appointment and to contact their practice by telephone.”
Patients will be asked a set of questions to ensure that they are referred to the best healthcare professional to help.
Further information can be found at shropshireccg.nhs.uk/news/important-information-for-patients-booking-appointments-at-gp-practices-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak
There is also information on a whole range of health issues and conditions online at 111.nhs.uk, along with details on how to treat symptoms and where to get help.
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