Published on 09 August 2019
Record numbers of people have headed to East Kent Hospitals' emergency departments this summer, leading to a reminder for people to make sure they choose the best place for their treatment.
Like other trusts across the country, our hospitals have been exceptionally busy so far this summer, with almost 20,000 people attending our emergency departments each month.
An extra 1,000 more patients attended this July compared to July last year, but thanks to the dedication of hard-working staff, eight out of every 10 people were seen within four hours.
Trust Chief Executive Susan Acott said people could help by keeping emergency departments for emergency and life-threatening situations.
She said: “Our staff have worked incredibly hard to see and treat people as quickly as we can, but it’s important to remember that not everyone needs to go to an emergency department.
“Minor Injury Units such as those at Canterbury, Deal, Dover, Folkestone, Herne Bay and Whitstable can treat anyone with minor cuts or wounds, insect and animal bites, minor burns or scalds and many other conditions.
“Many GP surgeries also offer minor injury services to their patients, and pharmacists can provide advice and assistance.
“People can get make sure they head to the most appropriate place by calling 111, downloading the Health Help Now or Waitless App or looking on our website for information about alternative services.”
The Trust has been working to improve waiting times in its emergency departments, including recruiting more nurses and doctors.
Patients who do attend emergency departments will be assessed for clinical priority, so people with minor injuries may have to wait longer than more urgent cases. It is often quicker to head to a Minor Injury Unit, for locations and services visit our website: : https://www.ekhuft.nhs.uk/patients-and-visitors/services/minor-injuries-emergency/