Hospital trust issues urgent plea to parents in Hull

Hospital trust issues urgent plea to parents in Hull

Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust has issued an urgent plea to parents in the area as the number of children attending A&E for minor injuries continues to rise.
The trust is now urging people only to attend the department in genuine emergencies amid fears of increasing the spread of Covid-19.

A spokesperson has asked parents to “show the same prudent use of health services as they did during the Covid pandemic.”

Dr Liz Herrieven, consultant in paediatric emergency medicine, added that as life begins to return to ‘normal’, so does the number of people using the Emergency Department (ED) for non-urgent or routine healthcare.

“Parents did so well coping with minor injuries and illnesses during the first lockdown,” she said.

“People were worried about the threat that Covid posed, they listened to our advice, and many families were able to manage their healthcare needs without having to come to hospital.

“What we’re finding now is that ED attendances are on the rise again, and we’re seeing many more parents and children presenting with basic health problems, such as ingrowing toenails or scuffs and scrapes, which could just as easily be managed at home or with the help and advice of a GP.

But some parents have labelled the advice as dangerous, concerned that it could lead to an increase in child deaths. One tweeted:

“This is dangerous advice. Parents should always take their children to A&E if they have concerns, especially for things which may *appear* minor like concussion.

“Child deaths increased during Covid due to parents keeping their children away from hospital. Better safe than sorry.”

Several others felt that the increase in people attending A&E for minor injuries was directly related to the difficulty of getting a face-to-face appointment with a GP.

Dr Herrieven added:

“A busy department means children will be waiting longer to be seen, and unnecessary use of ED could potentially divert staff away from children whose needs are more urgent or potentially life threatening.

“Bringing your child into a hospital where we are still treating patients with Covid-19 also potentially puts you and your child at risk of catching the virus.”

“Parents have shown over the past 12 months that they can get by using health services closer to home, and we’d really like to ask those people to stick at it, to use the full range of NHS services available, and help us keep our time free for the children who really need us most.”

Unless it is an emergency, the trust is advising parents and children to remain at home and call 111 for advice on what to do next.

“If you need to come to hospital, the 111 team will be sure to tell you,” concluded Dr Herrieven.

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