Medway Maritime Hospital asks for public’s help to combat emergency pressures

Date: 30 December 2016

main entrance

The Emergency Department at Medway Maritime Hospital is currently experiencing extremely high numbers of attendances. Many of these patients could have received the treatment they needed more quickly from other local services.

Clare Hughes, Senior Matron in the Emergency Department at Medway Maritime Hospital said: “Patients inappropriately visiting the Emergency Department are placing considerable strain on the hospital. We’re now in the very worrying position of having more people coming in than we have beds available. This can have very serious consequences for seriously ill patients who need our help.

“We have to treat the most unwell patients first, which means that those coming to the Emergency Department who have minor illnesses or non-life-threatening conditions are experiencing very long delays. Please consider whether our Emergency Department is the right option for you before coming.”

There are other local services where people with minor illnesses or non-life threatening conditions can receive the treatment they need more quickly (find out more information here. These include:

  • Getting advice from a local pharmacist, some of which are offering extended opening hours at the moment, as soon as you start to feel unwell,
  • Making an appointment to see your GP or visiting one of the GP walk in centres in Gillingham or Isle of Sheppey
  • Going to one of the Minor Injuries Units at Sittingbourne Memorial Hospital, Sheppey Community Hospital or Gravesham Community Hospital, which are open until 8pm every day

If you do need medical advice fast then please phone 111 and save 999 for only the immediate lifesaving case.

There is also a free app to help you find the right treatment – Health Help Now. The app provides you with an immediate list of symptoms and offers a variety of different treatment methods and then links through to local services, informing you if they are currently open or closed and their location.

We urge you to consider these other options, where you are likely to receive the treatment you need more quickly before visiting the Emergency Department. This will reduce the pressure on the department and also means we can provide attention to the people who really need our care.

  • Summary:

    The Emergency Department at Medway Maritime Hospital is currently experiencing extremely high numbers of attendances