On 27 August, AFPOP, Portugal’s largest Foreign Residents’ Association, presented an updated version of their Hospital Emergency Information leaflet to CHUA Directors Dr. Paulo Neves, Dra. Patrícia Rego and nursing Director Enfª Mariana Santos of the Algarve hospitals group CHUA (Centro Hospitalar Universitário do Algarve), which runs the region’s National Health Service hospitals.

The leaflet, presented in English and German, will be available in the Emergency waiting rooms for relatives of anyone taken into the hospital in an emergency and gives information about what is happening to the injured person once they are taken into the emergency room.

Presenting the leaflets on behalf of the Association, CEO Michael Reeve said “the idea came from personal experience a few years ago, when I had to go into Portimão hospital emergency room with what turned out to be kidney stones and my wife was in the waiting room for several hours with no-one able to explain to her what was happening. I decided then to discuss this with the hospital management and we agreed that a leaflet would assist not only the patient’s family, but also the emergency room staff.” That first leaflet was a success, but then the structure of the SNS hospitals in the Algarve changed and the communication link was lost.

Marisa Neves, the AFPOP staff member who coordinated the new leaflet project explained, “we contacted the hospital again two years ago to see if they would like to work with us on a new, updated leaflet and the project got underway. But then of course the Covid issue started and priorities changed and the emergency rooms waiting areas were closed, so no-one could wait there anyway.”

Dr Paulo Neves, receiving the leaflets and posters from AFPOP said, “We hope that this partnership, now renewed, will allow for a closer and deeper institutional cooperation between CHUA and AFPOP, in benefit of the health care provided to all by the NHS in the Algarve region.”

Dra Patrícia Rego added, “This partnership is very important to us at CHUA, as it gives greater clarification and trust of foreign users of the emergency procedures, to give them the best results in healthcare.”

Enfermeira Mariana Santos welcomed the leaflets on behalf of the nursing staff, saying “I believe that this partnership with AFPOP will be an asset in providing care to the population, since by overcoming cultural and language differences, it will bring the health professionals closer to foreign hospital users.”

The leaflets will be available in the Emergency Rooms at Portimão, Faro, Lagos, Loulé, Albufeira and V.R.S. António. Family members waiting for a patient admitted to those hospitals should ask at reception for the Emergency Information Leaflet. There will be a poster on the wall in those waiting rooms promoting them. The leaflet is of course free and offers information on the triage system, what happens to the patient on arrival, what information the staff will need, what happens after screening, the discharge procedure, visiting and patient’s rights, emergency contact information and also some useful phrases.