Great Western Hospital asks for support as its emergency department fills up again
Last Wednesday (March 16) the hospital announced: "Patients may be waiting for longer than normal when visiting the Emergency Department at the Great Western Hospital today."
"The hospital is extremely busy and as of 10.30am this morning, around 100 patients were waiting to be seen, with 220 being the average number of people attending the Emergency Department each day."
"We are doing everything we can to treat patients in a timely manner - however less urgent patients may be waiting longer than we would like."
The number of people attending GWH's Emergency (or A&E) Department has increased by almost 20 per cent over the last five years and approximately 100 patients each day who attend the Emergency Department now need to be admitted to hospital.
The hospital staff are asking people to help them: "We are doing everything we can to provide safe and high quality care during this challenging time, however there are lots of things local people can also do to support us."
"If you need urgent healthcare, but your condition is not critical, you might be seen sooner at one of the many other healthcare services available throughout Swindon and Wiltshire."
There are other ways to get timely help or treatment:
SEQOL Urgent Care Centre : The Urgent Care Centre, which is on the Great Western Hospital site, is open 24/7 and is the place to go if you need medical assistance and have been unable to get an urgent GP appointment. Contact 01793 646466.
SEQOL Children's Clinic: The clinic, which runs from Monday to Friday between 8am and 8pm, for youngsters, toddlers and infants suffering from common colds, aches or pains but not life-threatening conditions, that are unable to get an appointment with their own GP. Contact: 01793 646466 to speak to a specialist nurse who will make an appointment time with you at either Moredon Medical Centre or at:
Swindon Health Centre in Carfax Street, Swindon is open daily between 8am and 8pm and can help to treat people suffering from minor injuries and illnesses, such as sprains, strains, ear care, eye care as well as urine and chest infections.
Pharmacist : Your local pharmacist is also an alternative when you want quick help for a minor condition, such as flu, aches, pains, upset stomachs and skin conditions. Most are open late and can even offer you private consultations.
Out of Hours GP Service:
Make sure you are registered with a local GP. The out-of-hours GP (01793 646466) can offer advice over the phone, as well as arranging home visits.
The NHS 111 is available for medical advice over the phone
The Emergency Department at at GWH is for critical or life-threatening situations where immediate medical attention is needed, such as breathing difficulties or chest pain, sudden severe pain or heavy loss of blood, for example. In a medical emergency call 999 immediately and ask for the ambulance service.
GWH is also asking people to look out for elderly friends, relatives and neighbours and encourage them to seek help early on. If they start to feel unwell - even if it's just a cough or cold - then get help from your pharmacist quickly before it gets more serious.
Finally, GWH is asking relatives and friends to help them get patients Home for Lunch:
At any one time around 30 of the patients in the 450 beds (which are - on average - in use at GWH on any day) are well enough to leave.
Discharges can be delayed for a number of complex reasons, often in relation to on-going care needs, however they are asking relatives and friends to ensure patients can leave in a timely and well-planned way, helping to free up beds so staff can start treating more seriously ill patients.
There are many things relatives and friends can do to make sure patients get out of hospital at the right time:
• Be involved in discussions around the patient’s recovery and on-going care needs, so that arrangements can be made early on
• Make arrangements to be available at the time of discharge
• Make the home comfortable for the patients return
• Arrange help around the home
• Arrange transport and clothes to leave hospital in
• Put the heating on if needed
• Stock the patient's home with basic food and any medicine they might need.