Hospital prepares for busy time

IPSWICH hospital is gearing up to expect a busy New Year.Although Christmas proved to be a fairly quiet time, plans have been put in place to cope with what is likely to be a busy week next week.

IPSWICH hospital is gearing up to expect a busy New Year.

Although Christmas proved to be a fairly quiet time, plans have been put in place to cope with what is likely to be a busy week next week.

Research has shown that the busiest time for the hospital tends to be the first week back after the Christmas holidays.

Jan Rowsell spokeswoman for the hospital said that if people are ill over Christmas they often wait until the holidays are over before visiting their GP and subsequently being referred to the hospital.

She said: "Our busiest time has always been the first week back after the holidays.

"But we have very detailed plans in place.

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"As far as we possibly can we have made sure that everything is in place to cope with more people needing our care."

As the festive season began, health officials also issued advice to people to think about what would be the right treatment for them rather than automatically calling an ambulance or heading straight for accident and emergency.

Dr Tony Jewell, director of public health and clinical director for the Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire Strategic Health Authority said: "We're not saying that people should not call 999 or go to A+E if they have a serious or urgent medical need, that is what the emergency services are there for.

"However the NHS offers a number of other services to help people get medical advice and information.

"We just want to make sure patients know what all the options are and that they get the right treatment."

Other options include calling NHS Direct - 0845 4647 - for advice from nurses

and advisors on various symptoms.

GPs are also an option for less serious health concerns and pharmacists can also give good advice.

But the NHS was keen to emphasise that people should always seek emergency medical treatment if they think they are in a critical or life-threatening condition. These include: a suspected heart attack, difficulty in breathing, heavy blood loss, deep wound such as a stab wound or unconsciousness.

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