Health board urges people not to attend A&E unless ‘life threatening’

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said its emergency departments are 'extremely busy'.

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NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde have issued an urgent appeal to the public asking them not to attend A&E unless it is “life threatening”.

Scotland’s largest health board said on Thursday it is experiencing an “unprecedented and unsustainable demand on emergency services”.

It comes after the latest Scottish Government figures revealed more than a million Covid cases have now been recorded in Scotland since the start of the pandemic.

In the past 24 hours the country has recorded 18 coronavirus-linked deaths and 11,360 new cases.

Dr Scott Davidson, deputy medical director for acute services for NHSGGC, said that staff are under ‘severe pressure’.

He said: “Our A&Es remain open and continue to assess, treat, and admit emergency patients, however they are extremely busy, and staff are facing huge challenges to ensure we’re able to treat patients safely and as quickly as possible.

“We continue to see large numbers of people attending with symptoms that could be managed by speaking to a GP, local pharmacy, or, by calling NHS24 on 111 before attending A&E.

“As a result of current demand at A&E, people are facing long wait times and our staff are under severe pressure.

“There are other services geared up and ready to see and treat you.

“If you’ve had a slip, trip, or fall, we have numerous Minor Injuries Units (MIUs) across NHSGGC which can look after you, including if you’ve broken a limb.

“More information on MIUs, what they can treat and how to access one can be found on the NHSGGC website.

“GP practices across Greater Glasgow and Clyde are operating normal hours, and community pharmacies are also open to help you get the treatment you need.

“Unless very urgent or life-threatening, please do not attend our A&Es unless you are referred.”