NHS Tayside has issued a warning over its A&E services after admitting it has been experiencing exceptional demand in the last few days due to widespread icy conditions.
It follows a sharp increase in admissions across the region due to a number of slip and trip injuries.
A significant number of patients have been attending the Accident and Emergency departments in Ninewells and Perth Royal Infirmary with broken bones following the recent wintry weather.
Accident and Emergency Consultant Dr Michael Johnston, said: “Our emergency departments have seen a significantly higher than normal number of patients over the last couple of days, mostly attributed to falls caused by the icy conditions.
“We would advise people who do need to venture out when the weather is wintry to dress warmly, wear sensible shoes with a good grip and to take care when walking on icy surfaces.”
NHS Tayside has a winter plan in place to help our services cope with the extra patients that we are likely to see throughout winter to ensure that people are seen quickly if they need emergency care.
NHS Tayside is asking people to only attend Accident and Emergency Departments with emergency conditions. The public are advised to contact NHS 24 on 111 in the first instance to make sure they know where to get the right treatment, at the right place at the right time.
NHS Tayside says that around one in four people who visit A&E could receive treatment more appropriately by accessing a different service, such their own GP, community pharmacist or local Minor Illness and Injuries Unit.
A statement said: “This can help you to a quicker recovery and ensures that all NHS Tayside services are run efficiently through the winter months.”
NHS Tayside has issued some helpful advice to folk who may be injured or ill:
• When your GP surgery is closed, and you’re too ill to wait until it re-opens, you can access appropriate out-of-hours services (including a nurse or GP) through NHS 24 by calling 111
• Your local Primary Care out-of-hours service works with NHS 24 to make sure that urgent medical advice and care is always available to you
• If you live in a rural area and have a minor illness such as an earache or a cut, minor burn or sprain, turn to your Minor Injury/Illness Unit or NHS 24
• Your local pharmacist can provide a whole range of services including free advice, support and guidance on all your health problems. Community pharmacies are open at convenient times on Saturdays and Sundays in many locations
• Avoid a crisis, be prepared and buy essentials now. A pharmacist can advise you on a well stocked medicine cabinet
• Find about your local health services and get health advice online at www.nhsinform.co.uk