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Accident and Emergency is for Serious Health Conditions

Newsdate: 28 February 2012

The Accident and Emergency (A&E) department at Wigan Infirmary has seen a large increase in the number of attendances in the last two days; with over 20% more attendances. This is putting extreme pressure on the services we provide.  In addition to this, we already have had to close three medical wards to admission due to norovirus. 

We are asking people for their support to make sure that we can give urgent and emergency care to those people who need it most. We need the public to think twice and make sure they choose the right service for minor illnesses, ailments and injuries and utilise other services such as out of hours GPs. The public should only attend A&E if they have a serious health condition and in a genuine emergency.

Fiona Noden, Deputy Director of Operations said, “The number of patients attending A&E has increased significantly over the past few days and we continue to see large numbers coming to A&E with less serious conditions, that could be treated elsewhere. People can choose to self-treat at home or seek support from local pharmacies, their GP - including the out-of-hours service or NHS Direct. We want to ensure all patients are treated quickly in the best location and A&E is not the right choice for minor conditions.”

Local pharmacies are just one option if you need advice or treatment for a minor illness and offer free, expert advice for a range of minor conditions. GPs or the out-of-hours service is another option to consider. There is also the walk-in centre at Leigh Infirmary that can help with minor injuries or ailments.  Information about all health services available in Wigan, such as pharmacies, GPs, the Leigh walk-in centre is available on NHS Direct at, or ring them on 0845 4647.