A&E warning as Sunderland and South Shields hospitals facing 'high demand'

Hospital accident and emergency departments in Sunderland and South Shields have issued a warning as they face ‘unprecedented demand'.

By Fiona Thompson
Friday, 2nd July 2021, 5:03 pm

South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust has issued an appeal for people to only go to A&E if necesseary as units at Sunderland Royal and South Tyneside District Hospital both “very busy.”

Dr Shaz Wahid, Medical Director and Consultant Acute Physician at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, said that the A&E departments were seeing ‘unprecedented’ numbers of people seeking help.

She said: “We are seeing an unprecedented number of people seeking treatment in our emergency departments.

"We are always here if people need us but sometimes people do come to our emergency departments when they could have been cared for more appropriately elsewhere.”

Patients are being urged to call NHS 111, or visit their GP or pharmacy unless they have a serious emergency.

Dr Wahid said: “Those that do turn up to A&E will of course be assessed clinically by a member of our team but will be re-directed to a more appropriate service for their needs if they don’t need emergency care.

“Please support our busy staff by thinking of alternative services and do your bit to keep A&E for those that really need it.

South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust has asked people to think about what care they need as its A&E departments face a demand for their service.

“Remember that NHS 111 online or telephone can make direct appointments at surgeries, pharmacies and urgent treatment centres. They can also send an ambulance for serious or life-threatening issues if that is what you need.”

This comes days after frontline NHS teams from hospitals and GP surgeries across the region issued a similar appeal to the public to use the right NHS service for their needs and warned that the Euros football tournament teamed with warmer weather could lead to added pressure on services which are already busy.

A spokesperson for the NHS in the region said that some people had gone to A&E for mild allergies, earache and even in some cases to ask for a covid test.

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The NHS has said that patients can do their bit to help by:

*Those who think they have Covid-19 should stay at home and get a test by calling 119 or visiting www.nhs.uk

*If visiting a healthcare settings, remember to wear a face covering and handwashing and alcohol gel facilities.

*Attend appointments on your own, where possible, to limit the number of people on site and reduce the risk of infection to other patients and NHS staff.

*Keep hospital, clinic or GP appointments and say if it cannot be reached

*Be kind – staff are doing their best, please be patient.

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