Patients seeking help for insect bites at A&E

NHS board urges people with simple summer health conditions not to turn up at emergency departments

Friday 19th July 2019

Health officials are urging people not to turn up to A&E seeking treatment for simple summer conditions such as hayfever and stings.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (GGC) says last summer saw a 58% rise in the number of patients attending A&E for insect bites and stings.

However Dr Linda de Caestecker, director of public health at NHSGGC, said simple conditions could be treated at home or by a pharmacist instead.

She said: “Many patients attending A&E in the summer months have simple stings and bites.

“Clearly, unless these cause a severe reaction such as anaphylaxis, they can be treated at home, by a pharmacist or at one of our Minor Injuries Units.

“By following very simple guidelines, most stings can be treated at home.”

Last summer, an average of 1239 patients a day attended one of NHS GGC’s A&E or Minor Injuries Units, a rise of 4% compared to the previous year.

Dr de Caestecker added: “Hospitals are very busy places all year round, not just in winter, and A&E staff deal with life threatening emergencies, like strokes and heart attacks.

“People suffering from summer symptoms like dehydration, stings and hayfever should treat themselves at home or visit their local pharmacy.”