15 December 2016
Islanders are being reminded to not attend the General Hospital’s Emergency Department except in cases where there is a genuine emergency.
Over the last few days the department has experienced an increase in pressure for their services, this has led to delays and overcrowding in the department, with roughly a third more attendances per day than normal. This factor and an increase in the number of confirmed cases of flu has had a significant impact on bed capacity at the Hospital.
The issues affecting the Emergency Department have stemmed from Islanders presenting with coughs and colds, symptoms of norovirus and other non-urgent conditions that they should consult with their GP about.
“At this time of year, the hospital tends to be busy due to what we call winter pressures,” said the Hospital’s Managing Director, Helen O’Shea. “We know there’s a lot of coughs, colds and flu around at the moment, but we need to politely remind people not to come to the Emergency Department unless there is a genuine need. If it’s not an emergency, people should contact their local pharmacist or GP for advice.
“Anyone with norovirus symptoms should not come to the Emergency Department due to the risk of cross infection. Norovirus spreads easily and we want to protect other patients and staff from becoming infected too.”
Out-of-Hours GP Service
Evening and weekend cover is available for non-emergency matters via the Out-of-Hours GP Service. This service is based in the outpatients department in the Hospital and can be reached via the switchboard at the Hospital on +44(0)1534 442000. Those needing to use the Out-of-Hours Service do not need to pay at the time, as invoices are sent to patients via their GP practice.
Admissions via the ED and other winter pressures, notably flu, have had a significant impact on bed capacity at the Hospital. Due to low numbers of available beds, the Hospital is currently on red alert and five elective procedures had to be cancelled on Wednesday. Bed capacity is being reviewed on an ongoing basis and GPs have been notified about the situation