A hospital trust serving Elmbridge has called on DIY enthusiasts to take care this Easter.
The advice, from Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust, comes with the organisation having released figures showing that more people hurt themselves over the Bank Holiday weekend.
According to the statistics, the accident and emergency (A&E) departments at Epsom and St Helier hospitals saw approximately 270 adults every day last year.
On the day immediately following the Easter Bank Holiday, however, that number rose by 16% to 318 patients.
Dr Carole Ann Johnson is the doctor in charge of running the hospitals’ A&E departments.
She said: “As the first long weekend of the year, many local residents will use the Easter weekend to kick-start their home improvements.
“But sadly, for an unlucky few, this can end in a trip to hospital.
“We understand that people want to make the most of their time off work, but it’s important that you keep safe while doing work around the home.
“We’d encourage all would-be DIY-ers to plan what they’re doing, make sure their tools are in good working order and not to be over-ambitious about what they can achieve.”
Figures from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) show that in the UK alone, more than 500,000 people hurt themselves and 70 people die whilst carrying out DIY and gardening tasks each year.
The trust said that simple measures, such as wearing gloves, goggles or masks could be the difference between enjoying the holiday at home and having to go to hospital.
It has also issued some “top tips” tips for staying safe, which can be viewed on our news blog sites. The links to these sites are available here
As well as warning people to take care over the Easter weekend, the trust is also supporting the NHS Choose Well campaign.
This aims to encourage people to find the most appropriate NHS Service to get advice and treatment as quickly as possible.
The trust said that while the majority who visit its hospitals’ A&E departments genuinely require attention, there are a significant number who are mildly unwell have a minor cut or have some other everyday ailment.
Dr Martin Stockwell, the trust’s deputy medical director, said: "We find that many of the people that come to A&E do not need to be seen at hospital and could be getting the right care faster somewhere else, for instance from their GP’s out of hours service or even a pharmacist in their local chemist.
“People might not be aware of the wide range of different services available, but there are many more options than just A&E.
“The challenge is ensuring the public are aware of the alternatives and what kind of care they offer.
"However, if we succeed in getting the message across, not only will patients who choose the most appropriate service be seen more promptly, but it also frees up A&E for people who do have critical or life-threatening conditions.”