Local NHS leaders are issuing a reminder to the public, urging them to reserve visits to A&E (accident and emergency) exclusively for serious injuries and life-threatening emergencies. This measure is being undertaken to ensure that individuals in critical need receive swift and appropriate care.

To amplify this message, Bradford District and Craven Health and Care Partnership have initiated a local advertising campaign advocating the use of the NHS 111 online service.

For those seeking medical assistance but unsure of where to turn, the NHS 111 online symptoms checker serves as a rapid and efficient tool to guide them towards the most suitable care, whether it’s from a GP, pharmacy, hospital, or self-care.

This public announcement coincides with the anticipation of increased A&E attendance at Bradford Royal Infirmary and Airedale Hospital during the winter season.

Saj Azeb, Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Chief Executive at Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said; “We’re asking all patients to think carefully before coming to A&E. Our dedicated A&E team is here to provide immediate care to those in critical need. By choosing wisely and seeking alternative care for non-urgent conditions, you not only help us ensure that everyone receives the timely attention they need, but also that we manage resources effectively.

“Members of the public can really help by making sure that if they do choose to come to A&E for treatment, that it is the best place for them to go to get the right care, as soon as possible.”

Airedale Hospital will receive additional national funding as part of the urgent and emergency care national recovery plans to cope with the escalating demand for urgent care services and enhance waiting times this winter.

Leanne Cooper, Chief Operating Officer at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust added; “Our Emergency Departments are extremely busy and are also impacted when we have industrial action taking place, so it’s incredibly important that people only come to
A&E if they are seriously unwell or injured. A&E is for accidents and emergencies only, such as severe chest pain, difficulty breathing, significant head injuries and broken bones.

“Using an alternative to A&E when you aren’t seriously ill, such as calling NHS 111, consulting your GP or visiting your community pharmacist, could mean that you end up waiting less time to receive care.”

In cases of serious illness, injury, or life-threatening situations, the NHS emphasizes the continued importance of seeking immediate attention through the customary channels—calling 999 or visiting a local A&E department.