Doctors, working in the NHS, have recently expressed their concerns over worried parents putting ‘extra pressure’ on A&E services.
Health professionals are concerned that a large number of A&E attendances are unnecessary, and can often be the result of a lack of knowledge and understanding about what other, more appropriate care and out of hours services are available to them.
Senior doctors are concerned that unnecessary visits to A&E are putting extra pressure on already stretched NHS facilities, which can cause unnecessary stress for families. Dr Hilary Cass, President of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), suggests that hospitals may not always be the best places for children to be seen:
“So a significant number of these attendances at the emergency department are unnecessary – and putting extra pressure on the system and causing undue distress and disruption for families.”
If parents can’t get a GP appointment, they’ll often turn to A&E as a backup option – which is completely understandable. Parents naturally worry about their child’s health, and want them to be seen as quickly as possible. However, A&E is not always the best option, as there are several other out-of-hours and drop-in services available for minor paediatric health problems.
In a lot of cases, children with minor illnesses and injuries can be better cared for through out of hours services such as Urgent Care Centres, Walk-In Centres and Minor Injury Units in their communities. A&E can be a scary and intimidating place for children, and a stressful experience for parents, so it’s a good idea to make sure you know how to access a GP out of hours, and what alternative services are available to you in your area.
Here in East Berkshire, we’re committed to raising awareness of the out of hours services we provide, to alleviate your worries and concerns wherever possible. If you would like more information, please take some time to explore the rest of our site and, in particular, our news section. We also have further information available on when to use A&E.