Parents urged to avoid needless A&E visits

Kings Mill Hospital.
Kings Mill Hospital.

Health leaders are urging parents to be prepared as figures show that around half the children who attended A&E at King’s Mill Hospital last Christmas were discharged the same day with just advice.

Figures released by the NHS Mansfield and Ashfield Clinical commissioning Group (CCG) today have revealed of the 488 under 16 year olds admitted over the two week Christmas holiday period, 251 were discharged the same day with just advice and no further hospital treatment.

The Trust says the figures strongly suggest they may not have needed to be there at all.

Around one in five of all adults admitted in the same period were also discharged the same day - 625 of the 2,890 admitted - around 20 per cent of all attendances.

David Ainsworth Mansfield and Ashfield’s director of engagement and a nurse practitioner, said: “Parents have a lot to think about at Christmas, and the basic provisions such as children’s paracetamol and ibuprofen (Calpol and Calprofen) may not always feature so high on their list of things to buy.

“However, they play a major role in helping you to control a high temperature or fever which untreated could lead to children feeling quite unwell.

“Lots of parents also think that a diarrhoea and vomiting warrants a visit to A&E when in most cases, staying at home, drinking plenty of fluids is more often the best option.”

The call comes as the hospital trusts that runs the A&E department at King’s Mill Hospital has reported pressures on the department in the run up to Christmas.

The clinical commissioning group has joined forces with the trust to create a leaflet to help parents to choose the right service for them and stay well this winter.

People who want free health advice to stay well this Christmas were also invited to join a live Twitter health surgery, with free advice on how to deal with common winter ailments, how to spot a sick child, what to do if people are feeling under the weather and which services are best suited for their problems.