Dorset County Hospital in Dorchester has issued a public plea, urging patients not to use the Accident and Emergency (A&E) department unless they are facing serious or life-threatening conditions. The warning comes as the hospital experiences an exceptionally busy period, particularly in the emergency unit.
Call to Prepare Patients for Discharge
To help alleviate the strain on the overcrowded facility, the hospital is asking families to assist in preparing their loved ones for a prompt discharge home. By expediting these discharges, the hospital aims to free up beds for those needing urgent care.
Alternative Care for Minor Injuries
The hospital trust has also provided guidance for those with minor injuries, directing them towards other healthcare services. In a statement released on social media, the trust said that those suffering from less severe ailments would face extended waiting times at the A&E department and should instead seek assistance from services like the NHS 111 helpline, pharmacies, or minor injury units.
Seasonal Increase in Emergency Visits
The increase in patient numbers is reportedly a common occurrence during the summer months. However, the current situation seems to be particularly taxing on the hospital’s resources. The trust’s statement emphasises the need to make the public aware of alternative healthcare services to reduce the pressure on the emergency department.
Dorset County Hospital’s urgent call for responsible use of emergency services is a sobering reminder of the ongoing challenges faced by healthcare providers. By heeding the hospital’s guidance and utilising alternative care options for non-critical cases, the public can contribute to ensuring that those in dire need receive timely and effective treatment.