A&E is for emergencies only – pharmacists, NHS 111 and the NHS website can all help31/12/2018

Its that time of year again where going to A&E or calling 999 should be reserved for when someone is seriously ill or severely injured, with symptoms such as severe breathing difficulties or persistent and heavy bleeding.

Please help us to help you, by taking your loved ones to the right place at the right time. Consider whether your local Emergency Departments is really the best place to go at this very busy time of year.

If urgent medical help or information is needed, or an individual is unsure of what service they require, call NHS 111. It is a free service, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The 111 service does not offer diagnosis over the phone; rather it advises and directs the individual to the appropriate service.

If your illness, or your child’s, is not life threatening and you have been feeling unwell for a while it is likely that you may need to contact visit your doctor. However, do plan ahead and find out when your GP practice is open by checking the practice website.

Not all ailments require a GP appointment; pharmacists are an excellent source of help and are fully trained to give advice for a wide variety of symptoms. This means you don’t have to spend time waiting in GP practice where you could catch other bugs and illnesses. Find out which pharmacies are open in your area over this year’s Christmas period, by checking here.

As well as the pharmacist, the NHS website  provides lots of useful information to relieve symptoms at home.