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NHS Grampian urges the public to stay safe over Easter weekend – and out of A&E

The public is being urged to stay safe and not end up in the emergency department this Easter weekend
The public is being urged to stay safe and not end up in the emergency department this Easter weekend

NHS Grampian is urging the public to stay safe this Easter weekend so they do not end up in the emergency department.

People across the north-east are being asked to play their part in avoiding risk and not put further pressure on health care services.

Those attending the inaugural MacMoray Easter Festival have also been urged to take care by staying hydrated and wearing sunscreen if necessary.

June Barnard, chief nurse at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary (ARI), said medical staff witness a rise in attendance at the emergency department every year when the weather starts to improve.

She said: “From people drinking excessive amounts of alcohol; to those injured in road traffic accidents; to those who take part in other risky activities, like tombstoning, or undertaking DIY or gardening without safety equipment.

“Ultimately our message is go out, have fun and please be safe and look after each other.

“We would also implore all road users to drive carefully, considerately and within the speed limit because if you have a serious accident, which could have been avoided, it impacts our ability to deal with others. Cyclists are at equal risk.”

Locators of ARI (Aberdeen Royal Infirmary) Picture by Kami Thomson 04/03/2020 Hospital Picture by
Medical staff at ARI witness a rise in attendance at the emergency department when the weather improves. Photo: Kami Thomson/DCT Media.

When should you go to hospital?

The chief nurse said many who attend the emergency department don’t necessarily need to.

“Ultimately that may affect our ability to admit and treat someone who unavoidably needs to come to hospital, as well as we otherwise could have,” she added.

People in the north-east are being reminded that they should only call 999 or attend the emergency department immediately if they are seriously ill or injured.

Anyone with problems not considered “serious or life-threatening” should contact their GP practice or call NHS24 on 101 to be directed to the appropriate service.

“The emergency department is still open and seeing patients who need the skill and expertise of our emergency physicians and nurses.”

Thousands gathering in Elgin

More than 7,000 people are expected to head to Cooper Park in Elgin for the first-ever MacMoray Easter Festival.

Alasdair Pattinson, manager at Dr Gray’s Hospital, said: “The weather forecast for Moray looks good for Saturday and we hope people have a great day – it has the potential to be a great event for our area.

“We’d very much prefer if you enjoyed the festival, and we don’t see you at our ED. Make sure and stay hydrated, drink plenty water, and if you are fair skinned you might even need to take sun cream along.

“If you are having a few beers or glasses of wine – whether at the festival or not – please drink responsibility.

“We can all play our part in avoiding attendances at ED or indeed an admission to a hospital bed by taking as much care of ourselves and each other as possible.”

Thousands of people are expected to attends the new festival at Cooper Park this weekend.

While the crowds are encouraged to enjoy the family activities and performances, attendees are being reminded to keep themselves safe and not put extra pressure on hospitals.

Mr Pattinson added: “Please be sensible, be responsible for yourself and stay safe this weekend, the hospitals across the north – be it ARI, Dr Gray’s, Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital or any of our community hospitals – continue to be under pressure and are exceptionally busy.”

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