Help ease A&E pressures during Norovirus scare

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NHS bosses are urging people to visit pharmacists for non-emergency care as a Norovirus outbreak puts “unprecedented” pressure on Warwick Hospital

Health leaders in Coventry and Warwickshire are urging members of the public to help ease the pressure on accident and emergency departments as Warwick Hospital continues to experience “extremely high numbers” of high priority patients.

The Farries Ward in Warwick has been closed due to Norovirus, and the hospital is this week being visited by unprecedented numbers of people who are acutely ill.

As a result, visiting restrictions are currently in place and doctors are urging that people with symptoms that could be treated by pharmacists think twice before seeking emergency help.

Dr Deryth Stevens, Chair of NHS Warwickshire North Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “The kind of serious accidents and emergencies that should been treated at A&E include unconsciousness, heavy blood loss, suspected heart attacks and strokes, and broken bones.

“Those with a cold or flu or symptoms of diarrhoea and vomiting, should visit their pharmacist, who will be able to advise and offer appropriate medication.”

Members of the public are asked to use alternative NHS services for minor injuries and ailments including the NHS 111 telephone service, pharmacies, minor injuries units or GP surgeries.

People with sickness or flu symptoms are also asked not to visit patients in wards where they may spread infections.