NHS urges DIY-lovers to take care this Easter amid rise in accidents





NHS urges DIY-lovers to take care this Easter amid rise in accidents caused by power tools, falls from ladders and lawnmowers

  • The warnings come as Easter is round the corner and people have time off
  • DIY related injuries have risen by 7% in the past three years, figures show
  • Falling from a ladder causes the most injuries, with 6,300 needing treatment

You may be thinking of putting together some furniture in your time off this Easter.

But the NHS is warning you to be careful if you are, amid a rise in accidents caused by power tools such as drills.

Even mowing the lawn while the sun shines this weekend could land you in hospital, an injury hundreds have experienced in the past year.

Overall the number of people landing themselves in A&E with a DIY related injury has soared by seven per cent in the past three years, NHS England has revealed

Overall the number of people landing themselves in A&E with a DIY related injury has soared by seven per cent in the past three years, NHS England has revealed 

Overall the number of people heading to A&E with a DIY related injury has soared by seven per cent in the past three years. 

The NHS said people are inspired to work on their own houses by TV programmes such as DIY SOS, Grand Designs and 60 Minute Makeover.  

The figures, collated by NHS Digital, show 6,372 people needed urgent care after falling from a ladder in 2017/18. 

There were almost 4,800 admissions to hospital wards for injuries from drills and other power tools, and 500 from a mishap with a mower.

WHEN SHOULD YOU GO TO A&E? 

An A&E department (also known as emergency department or casualty) deals with genuine life-threatening emergencies, such as:

  • loss of consciousness
  • acute confused state and fits that are not stopping 
  • chest pain 
  • breathing difficulties 
  • severe bleeding that cannot be stopped 
  • severe allergic reactions 
  • severe burns or scalds 
  • stroke
  • major trauma such as a road traffic accident 

Less severe injuries can be treated in urgent care centres or minor injuries units. 

A lot of common illnesses can be treated at home by using over-the-counter medicine and getting plenty of rest.  

A&E is not an alternative to a GP appointment, the NHS states.

If your GP is closed you can go to 111.nhs.uk or call 111, which will direct you to the best local service. 

Dr Cliff Mann, NHS national clinical adviser for A&E, urged people tempted to try their hand at DIY over the bank holiday to be careful.

He stressed people should use alternatives to A&E for their minor injuries to avoid unnecessary waiting times and pressures on staff. 

Dr Mann said: ‘While there are plenty of ways to come a cropper with your DIY, fortunately there are also plenty of places to get help from the NHS this bank holiday.

‘Urgent treatment centres can provide convenient access to care for anyone who needs it, while tens of thousands more appointments will be available in GP practices over the long weekend than last Easter.

‘High street pharmacists can also offer expert help as part of our Long Term Plan for the NHS.

‘If you are unsure where to turn advice is available online and over the phone from the NHS 111 service.’  

Separate figures on patients seen by hospital consultants show that men are more likely to have a DIY disaster than women.

In the 12 months to March there were 7,400 occasions when men had to get care from a consultant after being injured by a lawnmower or tool, compared with fewer than 1,200 women.

Over the same time frame, consultants had to help men 5,000 times after they fell from a ladder, four times higher than the 1,260 cases of women getting care. 

The statistics show finished hospital admissions episodes and include injuries sustained both in the home and the workplace.   

NHS UNVEILS PLANS WHICH COULD REPLACE FOUR-HOUR A&E WAIT LIMIT 

NHS England last month began the process of scrapping the four-hour maximum A&E wait target to replace it with new ones. 

In place of its infamous four-hour target, the NHS has now began trialling seeing the most seriously ill patients – strokes and heart attacks, for example – within one hour.

Those with less serious conditions, meanwhile, will have to wait longer, and new targets will be drawn up after pilots at around a dozen hospitals later this year. 

Having failed to hit the four-hour benchmark for nearly four years in a row – it was last met in July 2015 – the NHS is now rewriting its own goals.

‘Now is the right time to look again at the old targets,’ the NHS’s medical director said at the time. 

This is despite past warnings from emergency medicine experts that scrapping the target could put patient safety at risk.  

Removing the target could wipe the NHS’s slate clean in one respect, making A&E data for the past 15 years difficult to compare with how hospitals perform in future.

And one branch of the health service, NHS Providers, has already admitted it may look like bosses are ‘moving the goalposts’.



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