May 23 2013 Latest news:
Melissa York, Reporter
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Giant yellow men waited around by the main transport hub in Stratford yesterday - to teach passengers when to visit accident and emegency units.
Gripping their heads and glued to the toilet, the statues stood at seven feet tall in Meridian Square representing injuries that do not need to be treated in A&E.
The stunt was held to highlight the NHS’s ‘Not Always A&E’ campaign to cut down on waiting times after a report found that eight per cent of all A&E patients could have been treated at their local pharmacy while up to 40 per cent of visitors simply ended up receiving health advice.
Figures from the London Ambulance Service show they attended 34,422 incidents in Newham from April 1 2012 to Jan 23 2013 - the highest number of callouts in east London - but 4,574 of these did not need to be taken to hospital while 541 patients were referred to another medical facility by paramedics.
Coughs, colds, headaches, diarrhoea, cuts, minor infections, and sprains were some of the ailments singled out as treatable elsewhere.
Dr Zuhair Zarifa, from the Newham Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “A&E shouldn’t automatically be the place to go for any problem. This puts a lot of pressure on A&E and increases waiting times for those patients who are genuinely in need of urgent medical attention.
“Many people could easily be treated by a local pharmacist, GP, at a minor injuries unit or walk In service, or even just by staying at home and looking after yourself.”
Visit wwww.NotAlwaysAandE.co.uk to find out where pharmacies and clinics are in your area.