Reminder to use the right health services this winter

Residents are still being reminded to think carefully over what health services they need to use.

Tuesday, 16th January 2018, 1:22 pm
Chris Gray, medical director for NHS England Cumbria and the North East.

After a busy festive period, with ailments arising from cold weather and flu, as well as cases of norovirus, pressure has been high on NHS services.

As a result, people are being urged, at the first sign of minor ailment, to self-care or get advice from their local pharmacy.

They are also being reminded that by choosing the right service, you can get the best treatment in the shortest possible time, whilst keeping A&E departments free to treat patients with the most serious conditions who need urgent care.

Professor Chris Gray, NHS England’s medical director for Cumbria and the North East, said: “Our hospitals are currently seeing high volumes of very unwell patients and we are taking all action possible to ensure they are provided with the care they need.

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“To manage the increased demand that we experience every winter, we have plans in place to ensure that services continue to run as smoothly as possible while ensuring that patients’ needs continue to be met 24 hours a day.

“It’s not about stopping those who need urgent medical attention from going to A&E, but about helping at-risk groups to stay well and ward off common winter illnesses before they become seriously ill and need a hospital stay.

“We are also urging people with a non-urgent medical complaint to support us by making full use of alternative community services.”

“This can really help reduce pressure on other parts of the NHS, such as calls to 999 or visits to A&E.

“Those in at-risk categories can also help by getting their free flu jab. It’s the best way to ensure protection against catching flu and developing serious complications.”

For many winter ailments such as coughs, colds and flu-like symptoms, people do not need to go to A&E or their local GP practice and are better off taking some paracetamol, drinking plenty of fluids and resting.