How to avoid a crowded A&E

Hospitals up and down the country are reporting another extremely busy winter.

Thursday, 4th January 2018, 11:29 am
Updated Thursday, 4th January 2018, 11:35 am
Whitworth Pharmacy on Waterloo Road

Blackpool Victoria Hospital is no exception, with health chiefs joining those calling on patients to avoid crowded accident and emergency departments except in the most urgent cases.But how can you avoid the queues at A&E if you fall ill at the weekend? And what alternatives are available on the Fylde coast? This handy guide will help patients get the quickest and most appropriate care, whatever is wrong with them.

With pharmacies and GP surgeries across Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre equipped to handle a wide range of illnesses, a trip to hospital can often be avoided.

More practices now offer out-of-hours and weekend care to help aoid unnecessary trips to A&E.

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Urgent care centres on Whitegate Drive, Blackpool, and Dock Street, in Fleetwood, can treat more serious but not life-threatening problems, seven days a week from 8am to 8pm.

There is also the 111 non-emergency helpline for those in need of advice quicklyy Patients will be directed to the nearest appropriate service.

That leaves A&E – and the 999 emergency number – free for the most serious cases, where quick treatmentcan save lives.

Speaking on behalf of the Fylde coast NHS, Fylde coast GP and clinical chief officer at NHS Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Group Dr Tony Naughton said: “As is often the case at this time of year, our local hospital is experiencing high demand.

Shelves at a chemist

“The services in Fleetwood and Whitegate Drive are open every day and can treat people of all ages. They can deal with many of the most common problems people often go to A&E for. We would urge everyone to think carefully about where they need to go for health treatment.”

Dr Tony Naughton
There is an urgent care centre at the Fleetwood Health and Wellbeing Centre on Dock Street
There is an urgent care centre at the Whitegate Drive Heath Centre
Shelves at a chemist
Dr Tony Naughton
There is an urgent care centre at the Fleetwood Health and Wellbeing Centre on Dock Street
There is an urgent care centre at the Whitegate Drive Heath Centre