Local People Urged to Think Twice Before Heading to ED

NHS Forth Valley is urging people to think twice before turning up at the Emergency Department at Forth Valley Royal Hospital with a minor illness or injury.

It follows an extremely busy period with staff reporting patients attending the Department with minor, non-urgent health issues instead of attending the Minor Injuries Unit at Stirling Health and Care Village or seeking advice from local pharmacies, dentists, NHS Inform or their GP.

Medics have also identified a list of the Top Ten heath issues that do not require a trip to ED:

  • Cold symptoms, nasal congestion or sore throats
  • Common skin complaints such as acne, eczema or athlete’s foot
  • Cold sores, warts or verrucae
  • Period pain or thrush
  • Emergency contraception
  • Earache
  • Haemorrhoids (piles)
  • Hay fever or mild allergies
  • Head lice / scabies
  • Mouth ulcers/dental pain

Andy Longmate, Clinical Director for NHS Forth Valley’s Emergency Department, said: “We want to ensure everyone gets the best care however the Emergency Department is not always the best place to provide this. Many people with less serious or non-urgent health problems could be seen quicker by a local pharmacist, their GP Practice or at the Minor Injuries Unit. Making better use of these other healthcare services allows staff to focus on treating patients with more serious or urgent problems.”

The majority of patients who attend the nurse-led Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) at Stirling Health and Care Village are usually seen and treated within four hours. It is open daily from 9am to 9pm (last booking 8.30pm) and treats adults and children over the age of one from across Forth Valley.  MIUs can treat cuts and grazes, insect bites, minor burns, sprains and strains, carry out X-rays for suspected broken bones (including ankles or wrists) and remove objects stuck in ears or noses. But they cannot treat more serious injuries, illnesses or treat patients who have breathing difficulties, stomach pains, vomiting or diarrhoea, rashes or allergic reactions.

Community pharmacists, who are often available in larger supermarkets during evenings and weekends, can provide treatment and advice on coughs and colds, high temperature, fever, constipation, emergency contraception, stomach upsets, fungal infections such as athlete’s foot, and skin problems. Under a scheme called Pharmacy First, all pharmacists in Forth Valley can also provide free treatment for a range of common conditions without a GP prescription. These include urine infections, conjunctivitis, skin conditions (such as eczema, dermatitis and reactions to insect bites) skin infections (such as cellulitis and impetigo) and thrush.

For more information and how to know who to turn to for local health advice visit: www.nhsforthvalley.com/kwttt