Sunderland emergency teams and leaders urge people to 'do their bit' and leave only happy memories during Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations

Health chiefs and civic leaders are calling for people to stay safe and ‘do their bit’ during the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

Tuesday, 31st May 2022, 1:29 pm

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The four-day bank holiday weekend will see countless parties, barbecues and nights out on top of the hundreds of organised events taking place across the North East as people celebrate the Queen’s 70 years.

But while most will have a fun time with family and friends without incident, NHS teams are preparing for a busy period.

South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust’s Emergency Department teams say they are already extremely busy.

Consultant Kevin Joisce.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

And consultant Kevin Joisce, clinical lead of the department at Sunderland Royal Hospital, said the team, along with their colleagues at South Tyneside District Hospital, are ready to help those most in need, but urged people to help by doing their bit to stay safe.

He said: “We know that people are excited to celebrate the Queen’s jubilee and will have parties and events planned.

"While we all want to enjoy ourselves during the long weekend, we don’t want to see people end up in our emergency department with illnesses and injuries that could have been avoided.

"Our Emergency Department teams are already facing a lot of pressure and while we are always here to help, we know as the schools break up and the long Bank Holiday begins, we will see more people come through our doors.

Consultant Kevin Joisce.

“Our priority is to treat those who have serious and life-threatening conditions. Those with more minor illness and injury are more likely to face a long wait to be seen as we prioritise caring for those who need it most.

“NHS staff across our region have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic and many will be working during the bank holiday weekend. Please do your bit to support us and take care of yourself and others this weekend.

He added: "We often see a lot of illness and injury linked to alcohol. No-one wants to miss the celebrations by ending up in hospital, so drink sensibly and if we are lucky enough to have some good weather, keep hydrated and protected."

Health teams are also urging people to be prepared and know how best to get help if they need it, including ensuring they have ordered any repeat prescriptions and restocked their medicine cabinet before the bank holiday.

Kevin Joisce said anyone who suffers a minor injury or illness can contact the NHS 111 service online or by phone, and pharmacists can also provide advice.

"This has helped lots of people get urgent advice and can arrange appointments for you to be seen by a health professional if you need to be,” he said.

“Pharmacists are well trained and great at offering advice about how to look after yourself and offer treatments you can use at home.

“Our emergency departments are here to help around the clock, but please do think about if it’s the right place to come. This will make all the difference when it comes to supporting the NHS during this busy weekend.”

Sue Taylor, head of alcohol policy at campaign group Balance, urged people to celebrate the jubilee while being sensitive to the needs of others.

“This is a time when neighbours and families will be getting together and hopefully having a great time, but we would urge people to be sensitive to the fact that alcohol is not at the centre of everyone’s celebration," she said.

“Many people in our region are struggling with alcohol addiction or have had issues in the past.

"For them being surrounded by alcohol makes life difficult and because people often hide addiction, we don’t always know who in our friendship group or wider family has been affected.

"Others choose not to drink alcohol for a variety of reasons, including religious or cultural considerations – and might feel uncomfortable when alcohol is flowing.

“The jubilee is a fantastic opportunity for bringing people together – particularly after the hardships of the pandemic – and we would encourage everyone to celebrate in an inclusive and sensitive way.”

North East civic leaders, including Sunderland City Council leader Graeme Miller and Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness, have also released a joint statement ahead of the celebrations.

“The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee is a landmark occasion for our country as Her Majesty celebrates 70 years as monarch,” it reads.

“Up and down the country, people will be coming together to celebrate with street parties, community events, and with friends and families. The North East will be no different.

“Our cities, towns, and villages are keen to celebrate this historic moment, and we want everyone to enjoy the extended bank holiday.

“We know that whenever big celebrations come around, the overwhelming majority of people are considerate of others around them.

"However, a small minority can have a big impact and potentially prevent others from enjoying themselves during a once-in-a-lifetime event such as this.

“Please be mindful of others in whatever it is you’re doing, whether it’s while using the public transport network to travel to and from an event in the region or making sure your local community’s street party passes without incident.

“Our Emergency Services will be working closely with communities to keep us all safe, and it is important that they are not placed under any more pressure. If you do see or hear of any antisocial behaviour or criminal activity, please report it.”

“Of course, not everybody will be celebrating the Jubilee, and will have other plans for the extended Bank Holiday weekend. Whatever it is you’re doing, be respectful of others around you and those working to keep us safe.

“Never before has a Monarch presided over our nation for 70 years, and we know this milestone is an occasion that will mean a great deal to so many in our region.

It concludes: "Let’s all come together to celebrate safely, and ensure the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee leaves nothing but positive memories for us all to enjoy.”

Top tips for the Jubilee bank holiday include:

:: Be prepared for common health problems by keeping a well-stocked medicine cabinet at home and making sure that you have enough prescription medication to last over the bank holiday weekend

:: If you are visiting a healthcare settings, please remember to wear a face covering and use available handwashing and alcohol gel facilities.

:: Health advice and information is available via the NHS App or the NHS website, or from your local GP practice website which links to a range of online services and, in most cases, you can order repeat prescriptions online.

:: For children’s health advice you can download The Little Orange Book, which covers a wide range of illnesses in children from common minor ailments including teething, constipation and colds, through to more serious conditions download here.

:: If you are concerned about how much you, or someone you know, drinks, there’s lots of help out there. You can speak to your GP, find your local alcohol support service or contact:

Drinkline Freephone: 0300 123 1110

Alcoholics Anonymous: 0845 769 7555

:: Anyone who needs emergency care can call 999 or head to their nearest Emergency Department. People should only use that part of the service if they or someone else has a serious or life-threatening emergency such as:

- loss of consciousness

- acute confused state and fits that are not stopping

- chest pain

- breathing difficulties

- severe bleeding that cannot be stopped

- severe allergic reactions

- severe burns or scalds

- stroke

- major trauma such as a road traffic accident.

- Details of pharmacies available during the Bank Holiday can be found via https://www.nhs.uk/service-search/pharmacy/find-a-pharmacy.