Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust’s Accident and Emergency Department (A&E) at Calderdale Royal Hospital is extremely busy at the moment due to the increasing pressure of covid-19.

Please don’t come to A&E unless absolutely necessary: in serious or life-threatening situations. If a person feels unwell and requires medical advice they should call 111, their GP or in an emergency, 999.

In recent weeks there has been a rise in the number of people visiting A&E with very minor injuries that could have be treated more quickly by other health and care services.

This puts serious pressure on NHS staff and services, and has a harmful effect on the care of very ill people being looked after in the hospital.

The NHS is doing everything possible to provide safe and effective services during the coronavirus pandemic, but we all need to work together to protect each other.

We need local people help us by making the right choice about which service they turn to for help and advice.

There have also been instances where people who are Covid-19 positive turning up at A&E. This is extremely dangerous for both patients and NHS staff. We would urge anyone who has coronavirus (Covid-19) symptoms to stay at home and self-isolate.

If you need a test visit http://www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or call 119. If you feel very unwell and need additional help or advice call NHS 111 or your GP practice. If you feel there is something seriously wrong, call 999.

Helen Barker, Chief Operating Officer, Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust said:“ Our local A&E is here for the treatment of serious and life threatening injuries and conditions only. These can include persistent and severe chest pains, burns, loss of consciousness and the symptoms of stroke, and severe bleeding that can’t be stopped.

“If it’s not an emergency you should call 111. NHS 111 will make sure you get the right urgent treatment from the most suitable service, which could be an appointment with a local out-of-hours GP, if required.

“You can also seek help and advice from a number of other places such as; your GP, your local pharmacist and your dentist, but please use common sense and ask if you need to go to A&E.”

Rachel Spencer-Henshall, Director of Public Health for Kirklees said: “Avoidable visits to A&E put an extra strain on our NHS and increase the risk of spreading the virus to medical staff and vulnerable patients. At a time when infection rates are rising across Kirklees, everyone needs to do their bit to protect the NHS staff and resources.

“It’s really important that everyone seeks medical attention when they need it. But A&E is not the best place to turn for most health issues. If you’re not sure what kind of treatment you need, calling NHS 111 will give you advice to make the right choice.“

Dr Steve Ollerton, GP and Chair of Greater Huddersfield CCG said: “If you have concerns about a medical condition or need advice you should contact your GP practice as soon as possible. Face-to-face appointments are available to all patients, but you may be asked to discuss your conditions over the phone or online first to assess what would be most appropriate for you.”

Graphic with words saying 'support the NHS, make the right choice'