Hospital issues advice as hot spell continues

Date published: 09 July 2018

Under pressure A&E doctors are urging the public to take care of themselves during this hot summer weather by keeping cool and hydrated, using sun screen, and to think carefully before coming to the A&E departments - particularly at the Royal Oldham Hospital.

Last week North Manchester General Hospital A&E had its busiest day ever recorded with 393 attendances on Monday, July 2, while the Royal Oldham Hospital is also seeing higher than average attendances.

On Thursday, July 5, North Manchester General A&E had 295 attendances and the Royal Oldham Hospital A&E had 307 attendances, and both departments are seeing more patients with minor conditions, which could be heat related.

Despite the high attendances, staff are working hard to treat patients as quickly as possible and patient safety is their priority. However, patients presenting with minor conditions might have to wait longer, as those with serious life threatening conditions, such as major trauma from road traffic accidents, heart attacks and strokes, are taking priority.

Dr Jimmy Stuart, Clinical Director for Urgent Care at North Manchester General Hospital, said: “Despite our staff working extremely hard, our A&E department at North Manchester is very busy and remains under pressure.

"This warm weather and increased demand for our urgent care services is adding to waiting times for those with minor complaints.”

Dr Tom Leckie, Consultant in Emergency Medicine at the Royal Oldham Hospital, said: “Monday was also a busy day for A&E at the Royal Oldham Hospital and we saw 356 patients attend.

"Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday were also busy days for us and we saw over 300 attendances each day.

“I would encourage people to think carefully before coming to A&E and to only come in an emergency situation, and after considering what other healthcare services they could use instead, such as a pharmacist, GP, walk in centre or calling the NHS 111 telephone line for advice.

“I would urge people to be sensible in the heat and keep themselves hydrated; avoid drinking alcohol to excess, to keep in the shade in the hottest parts of the day, and to use sunscreen when sitting in the sun.”

For advice about how to look after yourself in the hot weather please heed the advice from Public Health England.

These are its top ways for staying safe in the heat:

Look out for others, especially vulnerable groups such as the elderly, young children and babies and those with serious illnesses

Try to keep out of the sun between 11am to 3pm

If you have to go out in the heat, walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a hat

Avoid physical exertion

Wear light, loose fitting cotton clothes

Drink plenty of cold drinks

If you have a health problem, keep medicines below 25 °C or in the refrigerator

Remember that it can get uncomfortably hot indoors too. Try to keep your bedroom and living space cool, by closing the curtains on windows that receive the sun and opening your windows at cooler times of the day and overnight when safe to do so. Turn off non-essential lights and electrical items as these generate heat.

For advice about alternative healthcare services in the community including GPs, walk-in centres, pharmacists and NHS 111 please visit our website Choose Well page here: