Hospital chief's call to ease pressure on bank holiday services

A hospital chief is urging people in Sunderland to help ease the demand on emergency services over the bank holiday weekend.
Dr Shaz Wahid.Dr Shaz Wahid.
Dr Shaz Wahid.

South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust – which runs Sunderland Royal Hospital – says it will be prioritising those most in need of care and people with minor ailments could face a “very long” wait for treatment.

It says that, while it is geared up for the holiday weekend, it is asking people to help it manage demand on the hospital’s emergency services.

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Dr Shaz Wahid, the Trusts executive medical director, said: “We hope everyone enjoys the extended weekend, but for our teams in urgent and emergency care, it means business as usual and they’ll be working around the clock.

Sunderland Royal Hospital.Sunderland Royal Hospital.
Sunderland Royal Hospital.

“They will be on hand to help treat those most in need of our care. They need to be able to focus on those who are most unwell or seriously hurt.

“Anyone else might face a very long wait and there’s a chance they may still be asked to seek care elsewhere in the NHS.”

He added: “I would urge people to wisely about whether the emergency department or our urgent treatment centres are the best place to seek help.

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“If it’s an emergency, we will be here to help you, but otherwise NHS 111 Online is a great place to start.

“It will tell you where to seek help if you need to be seen and it can offer advice on what treatment you need, while pharmacies will be also be available over the weekend.”

People who need to order repeat prescriptions are being advised to get their request in now so there’s time to pick it up ahead of the bank holiday weekend.

GP surgeries also offer extended access appointments during weekends and out of hours and may be able to help people who are feeling unwell.

People are also being advised to stock up with over-the-counter medicines and medical supplies such as pain killers.

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