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Senior doctors in Doncaster and Worksop are urging people to use health services wisely over the festive season.

By John Smith
Friday, 20th December 2019, 7:00 am

From tomorrow (Saturday) through to Friday, December 27 many GP surgeries and pharmacies will be running reduced opening times, with a select few remaining open during this period.

Health professionals throughout the area are asking local people to collect any essential repeat prescriptions they need ahead of time, ensuring a safe and healthy festive break.

December has been one of the busiest months on record for Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals (DBTH), with record-breaking attendances at the trust’s Emergency Departments at Doncaster Royal Infirmary and Bassetlaw Hospital.

It is a pattern which has been followed throughout the past 12 months. During 2019, the services registered 22 of their top 30 busiest days on record.

Dr Nick Mallaband, divisional director for medicine and consultant at the trust, said: “With only a few days left until Christmas, we understand that many will be making plans and arrangements for the festive period.

“We’re asking local people to make their health part of these preparations – collecting their prescription medicines as needed, as well as understanding what services are available should they, or a family member, become ill or injured.

“Please remember to only use the emergency department when it’s just that – an emergency.”

With just a few weeks left until the new year, the trust has already cared for more emergency attendances than the entirety of 2018.

On November 29, Bassetlaw Hospital’s emergency department saw its 48,439th patient, surpassing the previous 12-month tally.

Less than a week later, on December 5, the same service at Doncaster Royal Infirmary cared for its 103,810th patient for the entire year.

This meant that, with three weeks to spare, the trust also surpassed last year’s activity.

Dr David Crichton, GP and chairman of NHS Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “During this busy time of year I would encourage everyone to take some time to familiarise themselves with the wide range of local health services which are available to them.”