Brighton and Hove residents using A&E instead of more appropriate services

The Argus: Brighton and Hove residents using A&E instead of more appropriate services Brighton and Hove residents using A&E instead of more appropriate services

A watchdog has warned patients are continuing to use a hospital's accident and emergency department when they could receive more appropriate treatment elsewhere.

Healthwatch Brighton and Hove says there is still confusion among some people about where to go instead of the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton.

A report published by the group said others had struggled to get access to services such as NHS111 and out-of-hours GP.


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It researched the experience of 179 people using pharmacies, the Brighton Station walk-in health centre, GP surgeries, out of hours GPs, emergency dental services and A&E at the Royal Sussex and Royal Alexandra Children's Hospital.

Most people surveyed for the report, 80%, believed they attended A&E because they needed emergency treatment.

The main reasons for not using alternative services are a lack of awareness about what is available, previous poor experience, and uncertainty about when to use one service rather than another - especially out of normal working hours.

Most people were generally satisfied but some negative experiences were cited.

There was widespread dissatisfaction with NHS 111 with people reporting delays to calls being answered and not always getting the right response from call handlers.

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Some also said they had struggled to get an appointment with their GP.

Healthwatch chairwoman Fran McCabe said: “In this research, many people had good experiences of urgent health care services.

“However, the report shows that there were unpredictable responses in almost all of the urgent care health services, with delays in getting a response and examples of poor responses.

“Many people were also confused about what the alternative urgent health care services provide, particularly out of routine hours.

“Given this, it is likely that people will continue to use A&E even when their needs might be addressed by another service.

“This is particularly serious, as there is national and local concern about inappropriate use of the A& E departments, which will come under increasing pressure over the winter months.”

Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group said it welcomed the report but said the number of people taking part in the survey was very small and may not necessarily represent the views of everyone living and working in the city.

A spokeswoman said: “We would like to reassure people in the city that we continue to work extremely hard on our services to make sure they are offering the very best treatment to people in Brighton and Hove.”

The CCG launched a campaign this winter which highlights what services are available, their opening hours and where they are.

For details, visit www.wecouldbeheroes.nhs.uk

Comments (11)

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9:41am Sat 28 Dec 13

RK_Brighton says...

I've thought for a while now that one of the biggest reasons our A&E departments are so busy is because people don't know where else they can go, especially out of hours.

We end a good educational campaign to tell people about the different services:

1) when a pharmacist is ok to go to
2) when a none urgent gp appointment is ok
3) when you might need a more urgent gp appointment or a gp call back
4) when a walk in centre is best to go to
5) when you can call your gp surgery for the on call gp outside normal appointment hours
6) when you should use the main out of hours /111 phone number
7) when you should sit at home and look after yourself because you only have a cold
And finally:
8) you're in a bad enough situation that you need to go to A&E ( but can make your own way there)
9) but if you can't make your own way there, or it's a massive emergency, then call an ambulance!

Too many people just straight in at 8 or 9 on the list when so many other options are more appropriate for them. We just need to have that campaign to advise people what to do and then all our services will work much better.
I've thought for a while now that one of the biggest reasons our A&E departments are so busy is because people don't know where else they can go, especially out of hours. We end a good educational campaign to tell people about the different services: 1) when a pharmacist is ok to go to 2) when a none urgent gp appointment is ok 3) when you might need a more urgent gp appointment or a gp call back 4) when a walk in centre is best to go to 5) when you can call your gp surgery for the on call gp outside normal appointment hours 6) when you should use the main out of hours /111 phone number 7) when you should sit at home and look after yourself because you only have a cold And finally: 8) you're in a bad enough situation that you need to go to A&E ( but can make your own way there) 9) but if you can't make your own way there, or it's a massive emergency, then call an ambulance! Too many people just straight in at 8 or 9 on the list when so many other options are more appropriate for them. We just need to have that campaign to advise people what to do and then all our services will work much better. RK_Brighton

11:55am Sat 28 Dec 13

clubrob6 says...

I went to the station clinic for non emergency treatment waited four hours had blood tests when I phoned up for the results they had no record of me being there,so there lies the problem the alternatives to A&E DONT WORK.Also the politically correct three main parties ignore the fact they have increased the population by millions with uncontrolled immigration without providing public services for them so ALL our public services from school places,benefits,NHS ETC are under pressure.I don't blame immigrants but governments for NOT providing servces for increasing populations.Until there are alternative services to A&E which are poor in B&H I would urge people to look after there health and continue using A&E then alternative services might be provided.
I went to the station clinic for non emergency treatment waited four hours had blood tests when I phoned up for the results they had no record of me being there,so there lies the problem the alternatives to A&E DONT WORK.Also the politically correct three main parties ignore the fact they have increased the population by millions with uncontrolled immigration without providing public services for them so ALL our public services from school places,benefits,NHS ETC are under pressure.I don't blame immigrants but governments for NOT providing servces for increasing populations.Until there are alternative services to A&E which are poor in B&H I would urge people to look after there health and continue using A&E then alternative services might be provided. clubrob6

4:02pm Sat 28 Dec 13

mister_oxo says...

RK_Brighton wrote:
I've thought for a while now that one of the biggest reasons our A&E departments are so busy is because people don't know where else they can go, especially out of hours.

We end a good educational campaign to tell people about the different services:

1) when a pharmacist is ok to go to
2) when a none urgent gp appointment is ok
3) when you might need a more urgent gp appointment or a gp call back
4) when a walk in centre is best to go to
5) when you can call your gp surgery for the on call gp outside normal appointment hours
6) when you should use the main out of hours /111 phone number
7) when you should sit at home and look after yourself because you only have a cold
And finally:
8) you're in a bad enough situation that you need to go to A&E ( but can make your own way there)
9) but if you can't make your own way there, or it's a massive emergency, then call an ambulance!

Too many people just straight in at 8 or 9 on the list when so many other options are more appropriate for them. We just need to have that campaign to advise people what to do and then all our services will work much better.
So where do you go, if your doctors surgery is shut ???

Maybe a poster and a few leaflets at the doctors surgery would be a good thing, to get less use of the A&E departments !
[quote][p][bold]RK_Brighton[/bold] wrote: I've thought for a while now that one of the biggest reasons our A&E departments are so busy is because people don't know where else they can go, especially out of hours. We end a good educational campaign to tell people about the different services: 1) when a pharmacist is ok to go to 2) when a none urgent gp appointment is ok 3) when you might need a more urgent gp appointment or a gp call back 4) when a walk in centre is best to go to 5) when you can call your gp surgery for the on call gp outside normal appointment hours 6) when you should use the main out of hours /111 phone number 7) when you should sit at home and look after yourself because you only have a cold And finally: 8) you're in a bad enough situation that you need to go to A&E ( but can make your own way there) 9) but if you can't make your own way there, or it's a massive emergency, then call an ambulance! Too many people just straight in at 8 or 9 on the list when so many other options are more appropriate for them. We just need to have that campaign to advise people what to do and then all our services will work much better.[/p][/quote]So where do you go, if your doctors surgery is shut ??? Maybe a poster and a few leaflets at the doctors surgery would be a good thing, to get less use of the A&E departments ! mister_oxo

6:00pm Sat 28 Dec 13

Patsyr says...

As I see it we long term residents are supposed to stich with the very sporadic and complex treatment at our GPs so that the new arrivals can get quicker treatment when they roll up to A&E is that it?

I think that the new arrivals need educating in the use of A&E
As I see it we long term residents are supposed to stich with the very sporadic and complex treatment at our GPs so that the new arrivals can get quicker treatment when they roll up to A&E is that it? I think that the new arrivals need educating in the use of A&E Patsyr

6:03pm Sat 28 Dec 13

MrsMileoak says...

On Christmas Eve my toddler son was poorly and we ended up using all of the emergency medical services including our gp surgery (and a follow up call by the gp after morning surgery), an ambulance to a&e following a 999 call, several 111 calls (and callbacks from doctors) and a referral to the out of hours centre at Sussex hospital followed by a trip to the late opening chemist at 7-dials to collect prescriptions. I have never had need for real 'emergency' treatment before my son arrived but we have used the above services several times since and I have always been very satisfied with the care we've received. However I have only really become aware of the alternative options to a&e since having my son so I think education and public information is important and would probably help reduce unnecessary a&e visits.
On Christmas Eve my toddler son was poorly and we ended up using all of the emergency medical services including our gp surgery (and a follow up call by the gp after morning surgery), an ambulance to a&e following a 999 call, several 111 calls (and callbacks from doctors) and a referral to the out of hours centre at Sussex hospital followed by a trip to the late opening chemist at 7-dials to collect prescriptions. I have never had need for real 'emergency' treatment before my son arrived but we have used the above services several times since and I have always been very satisfied with the care we've received. However I have only really become aware of the alternative options to a&e since having my son so I think education and public information is important and would probably help reduce unnecessary a&e visits. MrsMileoak

7:47pm Sat 28 Dec 13

KarenT says...

I have a hang-nail. I'm off to A&E.
I have a hang-nail. I'm off to A&E. KarenT

1:43pm Tue 31 Dec 13

Healthwatch B&H says...

You can read the full report along with responses from the Surrey and Sussex Area Team and commissioners in the report section on our website: http://bit.ly/1dSrYr
9.
You can read the full report along with responses from the Surrey and Sussex Area Team and commissioners in the report section on our website: http://bit.ly/1dSrYr 9. Healthwatch B&H

11:53am Tue 7 Jan 14

Healthwatch B&H says...

clubrob6 wrote:
I went to the station clinic for non emergency treatment waited four hours had blood tests when I phoned up for the results they had no record of me being there,so there lies the problem the alternatives to A&E DONT WORK.Also the politically correct three main parties ignore the fact they have increased the population by millions with uncontrolled immigration without providing public services for them so ALL our public services from school places,benefits,NHS ETC are under pressure.I don't blame immigrants but governments for NOT providing servces for increasing populations.Until there are alternative services to A&E which are poor in B&H I would urge people to look after there health and continue using A&E then alternative services might be provided.
Thank you very much for your comment. We will use it as a part of our intelligence. If there is anything else you wish to share with us, pls contact us:

Office number: 01273 23 40 41
Office email: office@healthwatchbr
ightonandhove.co.uk

Helpline: 01273 23 40 40
Helpline email: help@healthwatchbrig
htonandhove.co.uk

or Follow us on:

Twitter: @HealthwatchBH
Facebook: Healthwatch Brighton and Hove

For more information about us see: http://www.healthwat
chbrightonandhove.co
.uk/
[quote][p][bold]clubrob6[/bold] wrote: I went to the station clinic for non emergency treatment waited four hours had blood tests when I phoned up for the results they had no record of me being there,so there lies the problem the alternatives to A&E DONT WORK.Also the politically correct three main parties ignore the fact they have increased the population by millions with uncontrolled immigration without providing public services for them so ALL our public services from school places,benefits,NHS ETC are under pressure.I don't blame immigrants but governments for NOT providing servces for increasing populations.Until there are alternative services to A&E which are poor in B&H I would urge people to look after there health and continue using A&E then alternative services might be provided.[/p][/quote]Thank you very much for your comment. We will use it as a part of our intelligence. If there is anything else you wish to share with us, pls contact us: Office number: 01273 23 40 41 Office email: office@healthwatchbr ightonandhove.co.uk Helpline: 01273 23 40 40 Helpline email: help@healthwatchbrig htonandhove.co.uk or Follow us on: Twitter: @HealthwatchBH Facebook: Healthwatch Brighton and Hove For more information about us see: http://www.healthwat chbrightonandhove.co .uk/ Healthwatch B&H

12:02pm Tue 7 Jan 14

Healthwatch B&H says...

RK_Brighton wrote:
I've thought for a while now that one of the biggest reasons our A&E departments are so busy is because people don't know where else they can go, especially out of hours.

We end a good educational campaign to tell people about the different services:

1) when a pharmacist is ok to go to
2) when a none urgent gp appointment is ok
3) when you might need a more urgent gp appointment or a gp call back
4) when a walk in centre is best to go to
5) when you can call your gp surgery for the on call gp outside normal appointment hours
6) when you should use the main out of hours /111 phone number
7) when you should sit at home and look after yourself because you only have a cold
And finally:
8) you're in a bad enough situation that you need to go to A&E ( but can make your own way there)
9) but if you can't make your own way there, or it's a massive emergency, then call an ambulance!

Too many people just straight in at 8 or 9 on the list when so many other options are more appropriate for them. We just need to have that campaign to advise people what to do and then all our services will work much better.
Thank you very much for your comment. We will use it as a part of our intelligence. If there is anything else you wish to share with us, pls contact us:

Office number: 01273 23 40 41
Office email:
office@healthwatchbr
ightonandhove.co.uk

Helpline: 01273 23 40 40
Helpline email:
help@healthwatchbrig
htonandhove.co.uk

or Follow us on:

Twitter: @HealthwatchBH
Facebook: Healthwatch Brighton and Hove

For more information about us see: http://www.healthwat
chbrightonandhove.co
.uk/
[quote][p][bold]RK_Brighton[/bold] wrote: I've thought for a while now that one of the biggest reasons our A&E departments are so busy is because people don't know where else they can go, especially out of hours. We end a good educational campaign to tell people about the different services: 1) when a pharmacist is ok to go to 2) when a none urgent gp appointment is ok 3) when you might need a more urgent gp appointment or a gp call back 4) when a walk in centre is best to go to 5) when you can call your gp surgery for the on call gp outside normal appointment hours 6) when you should use the main out of hours /111 phone number 7) when you should sit at home and look after yourself because you only have a cold And finally: 8) you're in a bad enough situation that you need to go to A&E ( but can make your own way there) 9) but if you can't make your own way there, or it's a massive emergency, then call an ambulance! Too many people just straight in at 8 or 9 on the list when so many other options are more appropriate for them. We just need to have that campaign to advise people what to do and then all our services will work much better.[/p][/quote]Thank you very much for your comment. We will use it as a part of our intelligence. If there is anything else you wish to share with us, pls contact us: Office number: 01273 23 40 41 Office email: office@healthwatchbr ightonandhove.co.uk Helpline: 01273 23 40 40 Helpline email: help@healthwatchbrig htonandhove.co.uk or Follow us on: Twitter: @HealthwatchBH Facebook: Healthwatch Brighton and Hove For more information about us see: http://www.healthwat chbrightonandhove.co .uk/ Healthwatch B&H

12:05pm Tue 7 Jan 14

Healthwatch B&H says...

Patsyr wrote:
As I see it we long term residents are supposed to stich with the very sporadic and complex treatment at our GPs so that the new arrivals can get quicker treatment when they roll up to A&E is that it?

I think that the new arrivals need educating in the use of A&E
Thank you very much for your comment. We will use it as a part of our intelligence. If there is anything else you wish to share with us, pls contact us:

Office number: 01273 23 40 41
Office email: office@healthwatchbr
ightonandhove.co.uk

Helpline: 01273 23 40 40
Helpline email: help@healthwatchbrig
htonandhove.co.uk

or Follow us on:

Twitter: @HealthwatchBH
Facebook: Healthwatch Brighton and Hove

For more information about us see: http://www.healthwat
chbrightonandhove.co
.uk/
[quote][p][bold]Patsyr[/bold] wrote: As I see it we long term residents are supposed to stich with the very sporadic and complex treatment at our GPs so that the new arrivals can get quicker treatment when they roll up to A&E is that it? I think that the new arrivals need educating in the use of A&E[/p][/quote]Thank you very much for your comment. We will use it as a part of our intelligence. If there is anything else you wish to share with us, pls contact us: Office number: 01273 23 40 41 Office email: office@healthwatchbr ightonandhove.co.uk Helpline: 01273 23 40 40 Helpline email: help@healthwatchbrig htonandhove.co.uk or Follow us on: Twitter: @HealthwatchBH Facebook: Healthwatch Brighton and Hove For more information about us see: http://www.healthwat chbrightonandhove.co .uk/ Healthwatch B&H

12:06pm Tue 7 Jan 14

Healthwatch B&H says...

MrsMileoak wrote:
On Christmas Eve my toddler son was poorly and we ended up using all of the emergency medical services including our gp surgery (and a follow up call by the gp after morning surgery), an ambulance to a&e following a 999 call, several 111 calls (and callbacks from doctors) and a referral to the out of hours centre at Sussex hospital followed by a trip to the late opening chemist at 7-dials to collect prescriptions. I have never had need for real 'emergency' treatment before my son arrived but we have used the above services several times since and I have always been very satisfied with the care we've received. However I have only really become aware of the alternative options to a&e since having my son so I think education and public information is important and would probably help reduce unnecessary a&e visits.
Thank you very much for your comment. We will use it as a part of our intelligence. If there is anything else you wish to share with us, pls contact us:

Office number: 01273 23 40 41
Office email: office@healthwatchbr
ightonandhove.co.uk

Helpline: 01273 23 40 40
Helpline email: help@healthwatchbrig
htonandhove.co.uk

or Follow us on:

Twitter: @HealthwatchBH
Facebook: Healthwatch Brighton and Hove

For more information about us see: http://www.healthwat
chbrightonandhove.co
.uk/
[quote][p][bold]MrsMileoak[/bold] wrote: On Christmas Eve my toddler son was poorly and we ended up using all of the emergency medical services including our gp surgery (and a follow up call by the gp after morning surgery), an ambulance to a&e following a 999 call, several 111 calls (and callbacks from doctors) and a referral to the out of hours centre at Sussex hospital followed by a trip to the late opening chemist at 7-dials to collect prescriptions. I have never had need for real 'emergency' treatment before my son arrived but we have used the above services several times since and I have always been very satisfied with the care we've received. However I have only really become aware of the alternative options to a&e since having my son so I think education and public information is important and would probably help reduce unnecessary a&e visits.[/p][/quote]Thank you very much for your comment. We will use it as a part of our intelligence. If there is anything else you wish to share with us, pls contact us: Office number: 01273 23 40 41 Office email: office@healthwatchbr ightonandhove.co.uk Helpline: 01273 23 40 40 Helpline email: help@healthwatchbrig htonandhove.co.uk or Follow us on: Twitter: @HealthwatchBH Facebook: Healthwatch Brighton and Hove For more information about us see: http://www.healthwat chbrightonandhove.co .uk/ Healthwatch B&H

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