Southampton health services under severe strain

The NHS is urging members of the public to think carefully before venturing outside in the current icy and wet conditions.
Steve McManus, chief operating officer at Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust, said: "We have seen a tremendous increase in visits to our Emergency Department this week, with a very high number of people injured as a result of slips and falls. Today, more than twice the normal number of patients have arrived in our ED.
“I would like to thank all healthcare staff for their efforts at this very difficult time, responding to the needs of patients both within hospital and at home."
He added: “The hospital is still undertaking planned operations, but we would ask our patients to bear with us in the event that their treatment is affected by the rapid increase in urgent operations required for patients with broken bones.”
Dr Graham Watkinson, Public Health Consultant at NHS Southampton City, said: “It is really important that patients help the NHS to run effectively during this period. We must all ‘Choose Well’ to avoid putting too much strain on the healthcare in Southampton.
“I would advise everyone to stock up on medicines to allow for self-care, and to make use of services such as pharmacies and NHS Direct where appropriate if you feel unwell. This will help to avoid causing unnecessary pressure on A&E and the ambulance service, as well as GP practices.”
We would remind all patients concerned about their health to consider the full range of support available, including visiting, telephoning NHS Direct on 0845 4647, visiting a local pharmacy, contacting their GP practice and visiting a local walk-in centre.
Posted on Wednesday 23 December 2009