Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Helping you have a happy healthy summer season

A&E campaign launch
Keep A&E free for emergencies, and dial 111 if you’re not sure where else to go

Health professionals across South Devon and Torbay want local residents and visitors to have a happy and healthy summer by accessing the right care in the right place at the right time.

Torbay Hospital serves a resident population of around 300,000 people but this increases by as many as 100,000 visitors at any one time during the summer holiday season.

South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (the Trust that runs Torbay Hospital) is working in collaboration with Torbay and Southern Devon Health and Care NHS Trust (responsible for community hospitals and MIUs) and with South Devon and Torbay Clinical Commissioning Group to ensure that residents and visitors are armed with the right information to help them choose the right place to be treated should they fall ill or become injured during the summer season.

Graham Gardner, Emergency Department Consultant at Torbay Hospital, said: “We will always be here 24/7 for the people who really need our help. While our highly skilled A&E staff are concentrating their efforts on treating patients with serious and life-threatening conditions or injuries, it can mean that those presenting with less serious complaints – for example, sunburn, bumps, sprains and smaller cuts – may have a long wait to be treated.

“To avoid unnecessary delays and interruptions to their holidays and daily lives, people with these less-serious ailments should consider attending one of the many minor injury units at our community hospitals or calling into a local pharmacy.”

If people need medical help quickly but their situation is not a 999 emergency, they should call the free NHS 111 advice line, where staff are able to refer people to the most appropriate service. This includes referring people either to their own GP or to the out of hours GP service should they need it.

The Trusts are seeking help from local newspapers and radio to spread the word with residents and visitors. In addition, they are contacting local hotels, bed and breakfasts, campsites and holiday parks to help with ensuring that leaflets detailing all the available options across the Torbay and South Devon area are readily available to holidaymakers.

Dr Derek Greatorex, Chair of South Devon and Torbay Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “It’s really important that A&E doctors can quickly attend to patients with life-threatening injuries and illnesses. But when you’re away from home on holiday, it can be really difficult to find out where to go to access help with a minor accident or illness, especially out of hours. Tourists are vital to South Devon and Torbay and we want to support and encourage our holiday visitors, so our campaign aims to make it easier for them to make the right choice when seeking help from the NHS. Likewise, the information will also serve as a useful reminder to local residents.

“So if there’s just one message I could give, I’d say: keep A&E free for emergencies, and dial 111 if you’re not sure where else to go.”