Connect with us

Health & Wellbeing

Local ambulance service seeks publics help this Easter

South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) is seeking the public’s help ahead of what is expected to be a busy Easter Bank Holiday weekend.

Published

on

The Trust has planned ahead for the expected increase in demand but is urging people to use the service wisely and to seek alternatives to 999 if not faced with a life-threatening or serious emergency.

Over the course of the Easter weekend in 2018, staff in SECAmb’s Emergency Operations Centres in Crawley and Coxheath answered in excess of 8,000 calls. Across the region the NHS 111 service also faced high demand handing some 25,000 calls in the four days.

During any period of high demand, SECAmb works hard to prioritise its response to patients with the greatest need. Anyone not facing a serious or life-threatening emergency is likely to wait longer for a response. Those not facing a serious emergency are urged to consider alternatives to 999 including calling NHS 111, visiting a walk-in centre or speaking to a pharmacist.

The Trust is also reminding people to order any repeat prescriptions and check opening hours of their GP surgeries and local pharmacies. Details of local services can be found here: https://www.nhs.uk/service-search

SECAmb Executive Director of Operations Joe Garcia said:

“We know that Easter is a busy time of year for us and the wider NHS. With schools off and a long Bank Holiday weekend we are anticipating an increase in demand.

“With this in mind we’re urging the public to remember to only dial 999 if it’s they’re facing a life-threatening or serious emergency. We will be working hard to reach all patients who need a face-to-face assessment as quickly as possible but prioritising our response to our most seriously ill and injured patients.

“People can really help us by remembering to make use of alternatives to 999 including calling NHS 111, where staff will also be working hard to provide people with the assistance they need.

“As ever, and throughout this period, our staff will be working extremely hard to get our patients the help they need. I’d like to thank every member of staff and all our Community First Responder volunteers for their continued hard work and commitment.”

Health & Wellbeing

DIY doctors set to slash wait times in Crawley

It has been revealed that 23% of people in Crawley are waiting longer than two weeks to get seen by a GP – with thousands waiting over a month for an appointment.

Published

on

Recent NHS figures suggest that 56% of residents in the town were not offered a choice of time or date for their appointment, and six in ten did not get a same-day appointment with a GP.

44% of people in Crawley find it difficult to get through to their practice by phone, and 23% of people in town described the experience of booking a GP appointment as poor.

The new report comes from Medicspot, a digital health company hoping to put an end to the wait in Crawley by allowing doctors to perform remote examinations using equipment operated by the patient.

This new initiative allows doctors to listen to a patient’s heart and lungs, look into their ears and throat, and take their vitals including blood pressure, oxygen levels and body temperature – all without needing to be in the same room.

Dr Zubair Ahmed, Co-founder of Medicspot, says:

“In light of these figures, we hope our service will offer a convenient alternative for people in Crawley and help ease some of the pressures the NHS is facing.

“Longer wait times lead to more strain on an already struggling NHS. When patients are forced to wait weeks to see a GP, they often end up waiting for hours at A&E”, Dr Ahmed explains.

A national survey of patients who have used the new service revealed 40% of respondents would have gone to accident and emergency if they didn’t use Medicspot – generating a £1.2 million saving for the NHS.

This saving comes after news A&E waiting times have hit the worst level on record, with one in six patients waiting more than 4 hours and warnings that patients are about to endure one of the bleakest winters in NHS history.

Medicspot is already available in over 250 pharmacies across the UK, where patients pay £39 for a same-day GP consultation. The company plans to bring the service to pharmacies across Crawley early next year.

While the majority of Medicspot patients are comfortable operating the equipment themselves, a trained pharmacist is always available for those who need help.

The full report from Medicspot is available online at https://www.medicspot.co.uk/reports/gp-report-2019.

Continue Reading

Trending