FOLLOWING the announcement that Wye Valley NHS Trust is to be placed into special measures as a result (largely) of failings at A&E at the County Hospital, I would like to praise the hospital and the staff who work there, especially those in A&E, who work hard in often trying circumstances.

It is clear to me at least that the reason A&E is under-performing is down to one fact: we are misusing A&E by turning up and using it for all kinds of minor, often non-medical, issues as well as drunks.

Each patient has to be dealt with and there are procedures that must be followed for everyone’s safety.

Only when the people of Herefordshire start asking themselves, ‘Do I really need to go to A&E?’ will things change.

We all need to make more of use of minor injuries clinics around the county, NHS 111, GP services and out-of-hours GP services wherever possible.

Let’s put our trust in the trust to turn things round, and let’s also recognise that we too have a responsibility in making this change a reality.

Edd Hogan