There is no doubting the fact that we are lucky in the UK to have the NHS however, the statistics are alarming as they report that January 2017 has seen the worst performance to date.
The NHS are targeted to see 95% of patients in the A & E department within 4 hours but this percentage fell to 77.6% in January.
The report in the Guardian provides information from all sides and makes it clear how difficult it will be for the targets to be met.
For all of us residing in the UK, even those who have invested in private medical insurance may need to use the NHS Accident and Emergency facilities at some point in our life. Private medical insurance policies generally do not offer cover for A & E situations.
It is essential that we follow the guidelines of when a visit to the local A & E department is necessary:
*An A&E department (also known as emergency department or casualty) deals with genuine life-threatening emergencies, such as:
- loss of consciousness
- acute confused state and fits that are not stopping
- persistent, severe chest pain
- breathing difficulties
- severe bleeding that cannot be stopped
- severe allergic reactions
- severe burns or scalds
Less severe injuries can be treated in urgent care centres or minor injuries units (MIUs). An A&E is not an alternative to a GP appointment. If your GP practice is closed you can call NHS 111, which will direct you to the best local service to treat your injury. Alternatively, you can visit an NHS walk-in centre (WIC), which will also treat minor illnesses without an appointment.
*information sourced from http://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/AboutNHSservices/Emergencyandurgentcareservices/Pages/AE.aspx