Cheshire and Merseyside’s Medical Director, Dr Kieran Murphy, has urged people across the area to celebrate Halloween and Bonfire Night safely this year.
According to statistics held by NHS Digital, 545 attendances to A&Es across England between 29 October 2016 and 12 November 2016 were as a result of fireworks.
Dr Murphy said: “The message at this time of year is have, stay safe, wrap up well and get home safely if you are out celebrating.
“I’d advise to go to an organised fireworks display, where all appropriate precautions will have been considered.”
“Sadly, despite annual warnings, it is inevitable that our region’s accident and emergency departments see some injuries related to the celebrations taking place around this time of year.”
“The celebrations, coupled with the fact we are now moving into winter with increasing numbers of people suffering from respiratory problems means we are relying on people even more to choose the most appropriate service for their needs.”
Those needing non-urgent health advice over winter are being urged to contact the NHS 111 service to help them get to the best service quickly.
The 111 service, which is for non-life threatening calls, can also help take pressure off hospitals and GPs which are usually much busier in the winter.
Dr Murphy said: “If you are unsure of where to go with unexpected or urgent healthcare needs NHS 111 can make it easy to access healthcare advice which is non-life threatening.
“In most instances people don’t need A&E or 999, and accessing more suitable healthcare could result in you being seen more quickly.”
NHS 111 is for medical help or advice which is not life-threatening. It is staffed by a team of fully trained advisers, supported by experienced nurses and paramedics. They'll ask questions to assess symptoms and then provide advice or direct patients to another service. That could be A&E, an out-of-hoursdoctor, an urgent care centre, a walk-in centre, a community nurse, an emergency dentist, or a late-opening chemist.
Call 111 if:
- you need medical help fast but it's not a 999 emergency
- you think you need to go to A&E or need another NHS urgent care service
- you don't know who to call or you don't have a GP to call
- you need health information or reassurance about what to do next