NHS A&E departments are designed to treat the most serious,
life threatening conditions, so everyone across the North East is
being asked to #DoYourBit and think carefully before turning
The NHS across the region is also seeing a surge in hospital
admissions of patients with confirmed COVID-19, many of whom are
seriously ill and receiving intensive care and support.
Those requiring health care services should be thinking
pharmacy, GP and NHS 111 first, and not just turning up to
A&E is coming under even more pressure than usual due to
social distancing and infection control precautions, which mean the
space available to care for people and allow NHS staff to work
safely has been reduced by between 30 and 50 per cent.
The public are also being asked to attend hospital sites on
their own where possible to limit the number of people on site and
reduce the risk of infection to other patients and hospital
It's also important to note that the public should not access
Covid19 testing through A&E.
Professor Chris Gray, clinical lead for the North East and North
Cumbria Integrated Care System said:
"We must all continue protecting the NHS by keeping A&E free
for serious emergencies. People must think pharmacy, GP or 111
first, and not just turn up to A&E. NHS A&E departments are
designed to treat the most serious, life threatening conditions, so
local organisations are asking the public to think very carefully
"While NHS services remain open and are here for you despite the
rise in COVID-19 it's vital that people do their very best to use
the right services and continue to protect the NHS.
"Patients should continue attending their arranged appointments
or seek medical help if they have significant concern regarding
their health. This is particularly important for maternity
services, people who may suspect cancer or already have existing
"Many people who come into A&E could have been dealt with
much more quickly and safely by an alternative healthcare service
which also reduces the risk of transmitting Covid19 to other people
waiting or NHS staff.
"This winter, more than ever, it's vital that we don't have
large volumes of people in our surgeries, clinics and hospitals
when they could have been cared for elsewhere."
Because of the need to socially distance, hospitals have had to
reduce space in waiting rooms and making walk in attendances much
more difficult to manage.
By thinking of alternative services such as pharmacist, GP and
111 first people can do their bit to help stop the spread of
Coronavirus, keep people safe and keep A&E for real
NHS 111 Online has provided a fantastic service during the
pandemic and is a hugely useful system for the public. NHS
111 can make direct appointments at surgeries, pharmacies and
urgent treatment centres. They can also send an ambulance for
serious or life-threatening issues.
You can find more information on the #DoYourBit campaign here:
Published 28th Sept 2020
'As I was very, very nervous, I must have been the worst patient
ever and they were brilliant with me and I can't thank them enough
- could you please pass on my sincere thanks.'
Patient, Hysteroscopy Unit, Chester-le-Street Community