Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust is urging people to take extra care and only attend its A&E departments in genuine emergencies over the coming Easter weekend.
The Trust is very busy and experiencing very high demand with many people attending the emergency departments who could be seen more quickly in other healthcare environments such as GPs or pharmacies.
James Blythe, Managing Director at Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “We know many people who come to our A&Es have an emergency need for hospital care, but before coming to us we would ask you to consider if it is the best place for you. It’s really important that you only come to hospital if it's an emergency.
“We have been very busy and, as we approach the Easter weekend, we expect that to continue. If you need medical care and it’s not an emergency you may face a long wait. Our brilliant and dedicated staff are always on hand when you need us, but unless it’s an emergency, please visit NHS 111 online first for advice.”
As with all hospitals across the country, Covid pressures at Epsom and St Helier are still significant, but as restrictions in wider society have lifted, demand for emergency services has increased.
Many minor medical problems, not related to coronavirus, can be addressed by a local pharmacy. Pharmacies will be open and are able to help this weekend – although their opening times may be different. You can find details online on the NHS website.
In addition, local GP services will be offering pre-booked appointments and there will also be GP appointments available through NHS 111. People can also visit their GP practice website for a range of online services (including repeat prescription requests, other online requests and to book a routine appointment).
Jacqueline Totterdell, Group Chief Executive of St George’s, Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals and Health Group, said: “Our teams have worked incredibly hard over the last two years and they continue to do so to care for our local communities. We are always open when you need us, but please support our staff by having all your Covid-19 vaccinations, and using NHS 111 first before attending our emergency departments or asking for advice from your local pharmacy if it isn’t an emergency. Doing these small, but effective, actions makes you an NHS hero and we thank everyone who is supporting the NHS in this way especially at busier times.”
You can find out more about the NHS services available in Surrey this Easter here: https://www.surreyheartlandsccg.nhs.uk/news/latest-news/help-us-help-you-this-easter-weekend