WILTSHIRE’S NHS is giving advice to help local people make the right decision about where to go for healthcare treatment.
The health service is offering advice as hospitals across the country say they are under immense strain.
Dr Peter Jenkins, chair of Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said, “We recognise that knowing which services to access for health advice and treatment can seem a little confusing. There are numerous ways for you to get healthcare advice and treatment and knowing what health services are available when you start to feel ill, will help you to manage your condition quicker.
“Because it’s confusing, people very often go straight to a hospital or to a GP regardless of their healthcare requirements.”
To help people understand the range of healthcare services available and to help them make the right decision about where to go for treatment, Wiltshire CCG has produced an easy to use ‘Around the clock healthcare in Wiltshire’ leaflet available to download from its website.
The leaflet explains when to use which service:
• NHS 111 – Free non-emergency number where trained callers will listen to your symptoms and direct you to the best medical care for you and is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year
• NHS Choices – UK’s biggest health website for information and advice
• GP out of hours – available from 6.30pm until 8am on weekdays and all day at weekends and bank holidays. Call your GP practice to access the service
• Minor Injury Unit – treats minor injuries that are not life-threatening e.g. cuts, bites, stings and simple fractures
• Pharmacy – experts in medicine and can give you advice on common ailments and are a potential alternative to a GP visit
• GP – if you have a condition that can’t be treated with over the counter medication or advice from a pharmacist, make an appointment to see your GP
• A&E – for genuine life-threatening emergencies only and is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year
Dr Jenkins added, “When we are able to make the right decision on the type of treatment we need, we’re actively helping to ease the strain on a pressured NHS by taking personal responsibility for our health. This helps free up time for doctors and healthcare professionals allowing them to focus on those people who need their services the most.”