Call 111 to help take pressure off busy Devon hospitals
Published: 29 March 2023
People are being urged to do their bit to relieve pressure at busy hospitals by making use of NHS 111 and local urgent treatment centres and minor injury units.
Emergency Departments (EDs) at all the county’s hospitals are currently seeing very high demand, and many have ambulances outside waiting to handover patients.
Other parts of the NHS healthcare system have capacity to look after people with less severe needs to allow EDs (also known as A&E) to focus on those who need help the most.
Anyone contacting 111 who needs emergency medical care from a hospital ED will be given direct access to the department.
Staff at NHS111 can direct people to Minor Injuries Units and Urgent Treatment Centres. This will ensure that people get to the right place for treatment quickly and may reduce their waiting times.
Some hospitals in Devon are also experiencing challenges due to norovirus and other viruses. People are being reminded not to visit friends and relatives in hospital if they have norovirus - an illness that causes vomiting and diarrhoea.
Parents can also get advice on common childhood illnesses can be found on the HANDi paediatric app and parents from Devon are being urged to download the app to access quick and convenient advice.
Many minor conditions and symptoms can be managed at home without seeking further advice. Visit the NHS website http://www.nhs.uk for a complete guide to conditions, symptoms and treatments, including what to do and when to get help.
The Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital has a Minor Injuries Units (MIU) and Walk-In Centre (WIC)
People are also being reminded that anyone experiencing a mental health crisis no longer needs to visit an Emergency Department for advice.
In Devon, mental health services provide a 24/7 First Response Service for anyone experiencing a crisis. The helpline offers expert mental health advice, support and signposting. Call 0808 196 8708.
Pharmacists are qualified experts in treating minor illnesses such as coughs, colds, stomach upsets and aches and pains.