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‘Stop and think’ say A&E doctors, as live wait times launch

Published 22/12/2015
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Patients with minor injuries and illnesses are being urged to stop and think before heading to Derby’s A&E, as live waiting times for the department are published online for the first time.

The regularly updated figures show how long patients are likely to wait for non-emergency treatment at the Royal Derby Hospital, compared with the time they will wait at the Derby Urgent Care Centre (DUCC) in the city.

Patients are being encouraged to check the live data, which is on the Trust’s website, so they can find the best place to go for urgent care. Doctors hope it will encourage patients to use alternative facilities to the busy A&E department, unless they really need emergency treatment.

Dr Iain Lennon, clinical lead for emergency medicine at the Royal Derby Hospital, said: “It is often the case that patients with minor illnesses and injuries can be seen much more quickly at the DUCC than in A&E. These live waiting times will empower patients to make a decision over where they will receive the most appropriate treatment in the quickest time, and will hopefully mean that our A&E is reserved for seriously unwell patients who really need our services.”

The live waiting times are being displayed on the homepage of the Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust website and on websites for the DUCC, NHS Stay Well Derbyshire and Southern Derbyshire CCG. They will also be shown on a screen in the main entrance of A&E.

A traffic light system will show how long patients may have to wait for treatment, with green suggesting a shorter wait, and red indicating a much longer time.

Dr Drew Smith, GP Lead for Urgent Care with Southern Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said he thought the new scheme – the only one of its kind in the area – would make patients more aware of the treatment options available in the area.

He added: “Winter sees an increase in pressure across all areas of the health service, so we're encouraging patients to choose the most appropriate setting in which to be seen depending on their condition.  This means patients getting the right treatment in a timely fashion. The DUCC is equipped to deal with minor illness and injuries. A&E should be reserved for serious injuries and medical emergencies.”

Derby’s A&E department has recently seen record attendances, with the number of people coming through the doors in November 10 per cent higher than the same time last year. In just one week at the start of December, 2,777 patients came into the department.

Large signs have been put up around the A&E department urging people to stop and think about whether they really need emergency care when they come to hospital.

Derby Urgent Care Centre, formerly known as the Walk-In Centre, in Osmaston Road, has a GP and nurse practitioner on site from 8am until 8pm, seven days a week. There is no need for an appointment.

Minor Injuries Units are also available in Ripley and Ilkeston.

Anybody unsure of where to go should contact NHS 111, which can offer advice about the most appropriate service.

Live waiting times can be viewed at http://www.derbyhospitals.nhs.uk/

 

Live waits sign outside emergency department
Last Modified 22/12/2015