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Local residents reminded about the many alternative services to the A&E

We are reminding reminding local residents about the many alternative services to the accident and emergency department, as the hospital continues to see extremely high numbers attending A&E.

Dr Gary Cumberbatch, consultant in emergency medicine at Poole Hospital said: “We have been experiencing unprecedented pressures of patient attendance and are asking people to make sure they choose the right service when they need care. There are many alternatives to A&E where peoples’ health needs may be met more appropriately, and which could offer faster access to care.”

Services available locally include:

  • Seeing your doctor: For medical advice, prescriptions and examinations and for persistent illness. You should be able to get an emergency appointment with your surgery as soon as possible, Monday to Friday.
  • GP out of hours service: If your local practice is closed, listen to the answerphone message which should advise you how to contact out of hours services. Advice can also be sought by calling 111 (see below).
  • Walk-in centre/minor injuries unit (MIU): If you have a minor illness and/or injury such as a scald or sprain that does not require an A&E visit but you can’t wait for a GP appointment, visit your nearest walk-in centre. There are centres locally in Boscombe, Blandford, Bridport, Shaftsbury, Wimborne, Weymouth, Sherborne, Portland and Swanage. Visit  for details of your local centre and opening times. Details about the Boscombe and Springbourne Walk-in Centre can be found on by calling 01202 720174.
  • NHS 111:  If you are unsure of your symptoms and want expert advice, dial 111. The service is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and the call is free. You will be assessed and advised on the best course of action to take and whether or not you need to seek professional help.
  • Pharmacy: Pharmacies offer more than prescriptions. They can advise on bugs and viruses, coughs and colds, aches and pains, tummy upsets and allergies.
  • A&E or 999: For anything that is classed as an emergency including choking, chest pain, loss of consciousness, severe blood loss, broken bones, difficulty breathing, deep wounds, or a suspected stroke.

Date: 16 February 2015

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Media enquiries

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Tel: 01202 442269

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Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Longfleet Road, Poole, Dorset BH15 2JB. Tel: 01202 665511

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