As Cornwall’s main emergency department in Truro sees a surge in attendances, hospital staff are urging the public to 'Choose Well' when they need help with minor illness or injury.

“With the school holidays in full swing, triggering an influx of holidaymakers, our major hospitals are seeing a significant rise in attendances and admissions,” said Dr Andy Virr.

“Many of those coming to see us could have sort help elsewhere and we would urge people to consider how urgent their need is before heading straight for our emergency department.”

Attendances have been up 10 percent and more over predicted levels and some non-urgent surgery and investigations are having to be postponed.

RCHT, along with the other health care providers are urging people to use emergency services wisely. 999 should only be used for critical and life threatening situations.

Alternatives to coming to the Emergency Department include:

• Self care – make sure you have a sufficient supply of prescription medicines and a keep a first aid kit and basic over the counter medicines at hand

• Pharmacies

• GPs – who can see visitors as well as resident patients

• Minor Injury Units at local Community Hospitals

 • West Cornwall Hospital urgent care service

• GP led ‘walk-in’ center in Redruth (Cardrew Industrial Estate)

• GP out-of-hours service – available at night and at weekends

“Anyone who is unsure where to go for help can call NHS 111 for advice on the best service to use or information on the nearest pharmacy or minor injury unit,” added Dr Virr.

“This will often mean getting help more quickly and most importantly allows our emergency department team to concentrate their skills on those who really need our specialist and life-saving care.”