The NHS in general has been taking a battering for some time but A&E departments in particular have suffered recently.
Fingers of blame have been pointed in various directions but perhaps one of these fingers needs to be aimed at the public, who are surely a contributor to the problems.
As usual when major services suffer all we hear, read and see are the various political parties shouting over each other; one claiming that another will spend more, or cut more jobs, rather than addressing what is for me, a simple fix that would help no end.
There isn’t one particular cause of the distress experienced by A&E departments, but most certainly basic education among the public seems to be lacking.
The biggest bugbear people have mentioned is that more and more people are reporting to A&E with minor injuries or health issues.
I know some situations, aside from urgent injuries, dictate the need to visit the department; I’m told nurses can’t get authorisation to have a patient admitted to hospital, in these cases the only option is A&E.
Apparently some people go because they can’t get an appointment with their GP.
However, I’ve never experienced this and I’m not sure I know of anyone who has.
I have seen a picture on various social media networks which gives a quick guide on where is best to have your problem resolved: If you have had a nasty cough for a week, follow the guidelines before you go to A&E.
Got a slight strain? Contact a walk-in centre. Perhaps it should be renamed emergency, to prevent people just turning up after a small accident.
I’m not saying everyone does this, but we all know this happens. Simple reiteration and education would help before everyone starts suggesting staff and funding are the only problems.
Other health issues that appear in the media such as too much salt, too much fat and too much sugar in our diets should be similarly addressed.
It isn’t that we shouldn’t eat these things, irrespective of what we are led to believe, but that we should use them in moderation. Tell people this.
Don’t just say it’s all bad for us; encourage education, don’t force it.
The claim that some people can’t afford healthy food is questionable. Partially because of education but also some may suggest it is a lazy excuse.
If you can afford a pizza and chips, you can afford a tin of beans and a couple of jacket potatoes.
Each to their own of course, but as individuals we can help ourselves to help the country, just as we expect those in charge to help us too.
Read more from J-P here.