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Patient's quick fix in A&E certainly not the norm as many experience 'long vigils' waiting for treatment



It's good that 'Grateful Patient' in Larne (Letters 11/04/17) received the help they needed for their DIY injury and that they were in and out of A&E in record time.

However, I wonder should our patient have been in A&E at all? 

If the treatment required was a "few steristrips and a bandage" would our patient have been wiser attending a pharmacist or Community Hospital - assuming they had a '9 to 5' injury.

Getting to actually see a GP in or out of hours quickly is like finding a unicorn. 

Our patient's visit to an A&E took up the time of two nurses, who were probably pleased at the light relief treating this injury posed rather than the 'normality' of a packed A&E - especially at weekends.

In the past year I have had to attend A&E with a close relative with a heart complaint on five occasions.

He ended up there because there was no primary care or community support for his immediate problem out of hours. A&E was the only option available.

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On these long vigils I was able to witness first hand the large numbers and types of cases coming through A&E. There were several people in serious distress but many were walking wounded with obvious minor injuries which didn't need to be in an A&E to receive the treatment they required.

I accept people can imagine injuries are more severe than they really are and go to hospital to have them checked out. However, that takes up valuable time and resources which could be more usefully employed treating those with serious illnesses or injuries.

People often don't know where there are treatment options or simply don't care. So I'm pleased our patient was in and out of A&E in quick time, but be assured, this is certainly not the norm.


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