KEEP ambulances for emergencies only this Christmas.
That’s the message from South Yorkshire health chiefs in a bid to clamp down on unnecessary 999 calls over Christmas and New Year.
Emergency nurse practitioners at Montagu Hospital in Mexborough are encouraging Dearne Valley residents to restrict accident and emergency visits and 999 ambulances for only serious cases.
The minor injuries unit will be open every day except Christmas Day and is staffed by experienced emergency nurse practitioners who can assess and treat a wide range of ailments including cuts and bruises, sprains and some simple fractures.
Staff at the unit, which sees anything between 50 and 80 patients on an average day, will play a vital role in ensuring that urgent and out-of-hours health services run smoothly during the busy winter period by caring for those patients who don’t need to be seen in a full emergency department at hospital.
Lisa Dixon, matron for A&E urgent care and out-of-hours services at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Hospital emergency departments are already experiencing an exceptionally busy winter, with increased numbers of seriously unwell, frail, older people needing urgent medical care.
“The experienced team of emergency nurse practitioners at Montagu Hospital provide an excellent and highly-efficient service for anyone with minor injuries or ailments and patients will have a much shorter wait than they would in an emergency department, where more serious cases have to take priority.”
The centre will be open up to and including Christmas Eve from 9am to 10pm and from Boxing Day onwards 9am to 9pm
n For further health advice visit www.nhs.uk or ring NHS Direct on 0845 4647.