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GP asks shoppers to ask themselves “Is A&E for me?”

23 April 2014


Bedfordshire GP Dr Fran Ross, was on hand at Asda in Biggleswade recently to answer residents burning questions about urgent care options.

With emergency department admissions rising, Bedfordshire CCG is running a campaign to encourage people to use A&E appropriately. This means knowing what the alternatives are including GPs, practice nurses, pharmacies and personal medicine cabinets.

Dr Ross said: “A&E and 999 really should be just for emergencies. There are other services that may be more appropriate and convenient for treatment. In Bedfordshire, a GP is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. When the GP is closed, ring the surgery out of hours phone number or check their website to find out where to go or what to do.

The message we want to get across to area residents, particularly those patients who use Bedford Hospital, is that A&E is for life-threatening accidents and emergencies only. We want them to ask themselves before they go there or call 999 to ask themselves: “Is it a real emergency?”

 “It’s a good idea for people to make sure their GP surgery number is saved into their mobile phones so they can quickly and easily call for advice if they have an illness or injury that is not an emergency or life-threatening.”

The campaign, featuring Dr Ross, Sharnbrook local GP, Dr Jason Reddy, and Bedford complex care team senior nurse Mandy Bull and Wootton pharmacist Arif Esmail, challenges people to ask themselves, “Is A&E for me?”, before going there for treatment. Bedford Hospital is under severe pressure due to the number of patients who arrive, many who may be more appropriately treated elsewhere.


As part of the finale for the campaign, our “Is A&E for me?” outreach team held a popup event in Biggleswade to speak with shoppers about the right healthcare options for many aches, pains and injuries. 

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