NHS Ayrshire and Arran is asking people to stop and think before attending the Emergency Department (ED), as it may not always be the best place to treat certain conditions.

Dr Crawford McGuffie, Joint Medical Director and Emergency Department Consultant, said: “As we move into the winter months, our EDs are at their busiest. However, we know that some people who attend our EDs would receive more appropriate and quicker treatment elsewhere.

“So, we are asking members of the public to stop, think, and ask ‘Is it an emergency?’ If it is an emergency, come straight to the ED. That way we can ensure that our EDs are there for those who need it most – those with lifethreatening emergencies, and injuries.”

If you do attend one of NHS Ayrshire and Arran’s EDs and your condition does not need the services of an ED, you may be redirected to a more appropriate service.

These include GP surgery, NHS24, pharmacy, emergency dental service, pregnancy services and sexual health services.

Redirecting patients to more appropriate services will help the NHS’ ED run more efficiently and patients will be seen quicker.

Joanne Edwards, Director for Acute Services, said: “We want to make sure that the right patient is seen at the right place at the right time with the right clinician. Our key message is to let people know the most appropriate time to visit an ED, and what are the available alternatives. It’s your ED. Please use it well.”

The advice given to locals is: Your local pharmacy provides expert advice for common illnesses and ailments, call NHS24 on 111 to access out-ofhours advice and services, or if you’re unsure where to go, your GP surgery is for an illness or injury that just won’t go away, the ED is for life-threatening emergencies and injuries.

For more see: www.nhsaaa.net.