Hospitals in ‘emergencies only’ plea

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DONCASTER hospital bosses are urging the public to use its emergency services over the Christmas period only in genuine emergency cases.

Staff at the Doncaster Royal Infirmary are battling with the seasonally high number of patients – and the seasonal winter vomiting bug.

A&E staff will assess and treat patients with serious injuries or illnesses, and say people should visit casualty or call 999 only for emergencies, such as loss of consciousness, pain that is not relieved by simple painkillers, an acute confused state, persistent or severe chest pain, or breathing difficulties.

The Montagu Hospital’s Minor Injuries Unit is open every day from 9am to 10pm, and its staff can treat sprains and strains, broken bones, wound infections, minor burns and scalds, minor head injuries, insect and animal bites, minor eye injuries, and injuries to the back, shoulder and chest.

Ron Calvert, chief executive of the Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, also warned patients and visitors to behave themselves when coming to hospital.

He said: “Our hospital staff will be working hard to care for patients throughout Christmas and the New Year, but they won’t put up with any form of violence or aggression.

“Our security guards will be on duty to support staff and ensure the safety of patients. Abusive behaviour in hospital is not acceptable and troublemakers will be dealt with immediately and the police called.”

He is also warning people to wash their hands before and after they visit loved ones in hospital, and to use hand gel provided at ward entrances.

The warnings comes after a number of cases of a winter vomiting bug which caused ward closures at the DRI and the Montagu.