THE Air Festival returns for four days from 29 August and for the fifth year running, staff from the Royal Bournemouth Hospital’s Emergency Department (ED) will be on hand to provide first aid to those attending the hugely popular event.
A number of services will be offered to the public which prevent the need for an ambulance or a visit to hospital, easing the pressures on ED during an event which attracts over one million people to the area.
At last year’s festival, ED staff saw 122 people at the event and prevented around 80 from needing to come into hospital.
Four first aid posts will be set up for this year’s festival, two to be manned by ED staff with assistance from the Red Cross. The ED posts will be positioned at Bournemouth Pier and Boscombe seafront and each will have three members of hospital staff – two trained ED nurses and a healthcare assistant. The staff are in addition to those who are based at the hospital during the event.
Services include wound care, stitching, treatment for insect and weever fish stings, assistance for people suffering from dehydration and ECG heart monitoring.
The trained nurses can also monitor people who have collapsed to see if they need further treatment, and one year were able to ensure a man who presented with symptoms of a stroke was given an emergency CT scan at the hospital.
ED senior sister Chris Spencer said: “The public are often reassured when they see us at the festival and are grateful that they can come to us and not need to go into hospital.
“For us it is an opportunity to engage with the public and to prepare our nurses for incidents which occur outside the hospital setting. Having a presence on the ground at the biggest event in Bournemouth also enables us to get a live understanding of any issues that may occur and warn our colleagues at the hospital if there are patients on their way to be seen.”
The public can also call 111 for medical help that is not life threatening. It’s free to call, open 24 hours a day and all calls are dealt with by a trained advisor. For less urgent health needs visit your nearest pharmacy which can be found on www.nhs.uk.