The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust is reminding people to choose well when accessing health care.
It claims that the lives of elderly and vulnerable patients are being put at risk when people attended A&E with less serious complaints like a winter bug.
Tracey McErlain-Burns, chief nurse at the trust said: “Each winter members of the local community suffer with winter bugs and continue to visit Rotherham Hospital; particularly our A&E department which puts vulnerable patients, and our staff who treat them, at risk of catching the viruses.”
“For most people the flu, coughs and colds are just unpleasant but for those who are already ill in hospital and elderly people they can actually be life threatening.”
“The Choose Well campaign is about sign posting to the most appropriate service such as a local pharmacist, the GP practice, the walk-in centre and NHS 111.”
She added: “Everyone visiting the hospital, or a person ill at home should also remember that the single most important and simple action to prevent the spread of any bugs is basic hand washing.”
“The trust has extensive infection prevention and control measures in place throughout the year which includes a stringent hand cleanliness procedure that must be followed by everyone coming into the hospital and trust buildings in order to keep infections at bay.”
For more information about how to choose a care provider visit www.rotherham.nhs.uk/services/choose-well-this-winter.htm