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To be cynical about empty A&E

(120 Posts)
Cinders29 Thu 26-Mar-20 07:51:34

So my son has to come to A&E / be admitted to children's wards fairly regularly and usually children's A&E is HEAVING , wards are busy etc however came yesterday and completely empty. Literally just us ( big city hospital )

AIBU to think this proves that people totally misuse the NHS and come in when they really don't need to.

On a plus PICU is really quiet due to lack of accidents etc so it's great to see they're not stretched. The staff from PICU are helping out on my sons ward due to lack of work.

Monstercruch Thu 26-Mar-20 07:52:44

I agree.

LangSpartacusCleg Thu 26-Mar-20 07:54:23


Eeyoresstickhouse Thu 26-Mar-20 07:55:00

We have an app locally that shows you the wait times in the a&e depts and miu's. I have noticed it has numbers way way down on usual. So yes I think people are thinking more and not wanting to be potentially infected with corona.

Moanranger Thu 26-Mar-20 07:55:18

People do indeed mis-use it. Also, lots of drinking related use, & if people drinking at home and not going out less of this as well.
Could see a spike in domestic abuse though.

Makeitgoaway Thu 26-Mar-20 07:55:33

I thought you were going to say you didn't believe it was really

I think there's an element of that, however, with the children not at school/sports clubs/playing out, they probably are avoiding a lot of the injuries that often find them in A&E

fairynick Thu 26-Mar-20 07:55:53

What’s the app? @Eeyoresstickhouse

Ughmaybenot Thu 26-Mar-20 07:56:55

Absolutely agree with you. It’s been noted across the board. While I’ve no doubt some people are staying home despite needing genuine care, and that’s not right either, I do think it’s weeded our all the absolute timewasters quite effectively

WishUponAStar88 Thu 26-Mar-20 07:59:20

I’m sorry your son is unwell. I think A&E is quiet for a number of reasons. Firstly as you say a lot of people misuse it. Also though there are significantly less accidents at the moment and some people aren’t coming to A&E even if they probably should out of fear.

PICUs are quiet due to cancellation of none emergency operations. Over the next few days and weeks they will get busy not necessarily with Covid19 patients (although I’m sure there will be some) but with children who come over from other hospitals to free up those beds as adults itu beds so they’re making space for these if it one that will be a regional centre.

TW2013 Thu 26-Mar-20 08:00:14

I imagine lack of accidents is a fair contribution. My dd (secondary school) says most PE lessons someone is injured. Broken bones not uncommon, that's before you add in rugby/football/ netball clubs and unsupervised accidents outside of school. Not sure it is a good thing though.

Makeitgoaway Thu 26-Mar-20 08:00:52

We know there are people who go to A&E when they shouldn't but closing the pubs, banning sport and travel and shutting down industry must remove most of the reasons people normally end up in A&E!

catwithnohat Thu 26-Mar-20 08:01:56

Equally (and I'm sure I'll get hammered for this) if everywhere is so quiet then why is the media making such a big deal about the overworked healthcare teams hmm

Yes, that is a goady statement but I'm quite happy to be disabused of such a mean minded outlook.

Impatientwino Thu 26-Mar-20 08:02:44

Absolutely - DS had an allergic reaction last week and his face/lips blew right up so we ended up going to children's a&e in a cab.

The doctor there told me he usually sees 40-50 patients in a 10 hour shift and that day he'd seen 7. All with severe symptoms who absolutely needed a&e rather than people who 'needed different healthcare pathways' as he delicately put it...

I also think the point about lack of clubs is a valid one..

ShirleyPhallus Thu 26-Mar-20 08:03:13

I’m very glad about it

I guess those people who turn up with 5 family members in tow and a picnic must be doing their socialising elsewhere right now

Makeitgoaway Thu 26-Mar-20 08:05:33

I did wonder that catwithnohat, when Chris Whitty said last night that high dependency beds are no busier, yet, than a standard difficult flu season.

We know it's coming but why are they so overworked now?

stairgates Thu 26-Mar-20 08:05:56

This is all good to read! I was worried that it would be completely stacked and of there was something serious then nobody would be getting seen.

stairgates Thu 26-Mar-20 08:07:01

Maybe because half the staff are off self isolating if somebody in the household had showed any possible symtoms?

TooMuchBloodyChoice Thu 26-Mar-20 08:10:26

Our local children’s ward has been so quiet for the last week or so. Staff are now getting ready to be deployed to adult services, but even they did question how quiet it was.

They think most people are staying in, and avoiding a&e which is good and hopefully means people are complying with the gov guidelines

ipswichwitch Thu 26-Mar-20 08:10:32

Probably because a good number of staff are isolating because they/someone in the household has symptoms or they are in a high risk category. I noticed a&e was quiet before the schools, pubs and clubs were shut, so I think it is a combination of factors. Partly because fewer people are now doing things that put them at risk of injury, and partly the sort of people who are attending a&e now are those with genuine need, the time wasters are staying at home.

Musicaltheatremum Thu 26-Mar-20 08:12:18

My work (GP surgery) is eerily quiet. I'm getting all my pre booked patients phoned. We are only doing essential bloods so less mail so we can now get on to working through our frailty lists checking up on these people.
Mind you I have done more prescriptions in the last 2 weeks than I've ever done in 26 years as a GP.
So I never stop all the time I'm in work but just doing different things.

NoClarification Thu 26-Mar-20 08:12:30

We probably should have gone in this week to get a cut seen to, but didn't because the balance of risk was that it was safer to stay at home. So yes, sometimes people are staying home when they probably should have gone in.

catwithnohat Thu 26-Mar-20 08:13:01


If they're still overworked with everyone at home behind locked doors its a sad state of affairs.

Etinox Thu 26-Mar-20 08:13:59

No sports
Fewer cars in the road
No pubs open or all day drinking in the park
Not icy
^That must account for a massive amount of normal A&E custom.

1981m Thu 26-Mar-20 08:18:50

If people aren't going out there is much less of a risk of accidents I guess. Especially drinking related accidents.

Sizeablecontours Thu 26-Mar-20 08:19:09

Most horse-riders I know (including myself) have turned their horses out to grass, and are not riding , for fear of having to use medical resources that are needed elsewhere.

If the same pattern is duplicated with other dangerous/ active sports plus there are much fewer road traffic accidents , dc are not doing sports in school.or any extra curricular activities, and the elderly aren't walking about as much, then no wonder A&E is quieter.

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