Local people urged to choose the most appropriate healthcare service this bank holiday weekend

With the increased pressure across all NHS services, the public are being urged to select the most appropriate service for their needs, practicing self-care and accessing the NHS digital services such as 111 online wherever possible.

Over the Christmas bank holiday weekend, calls to NHS 111 were double what would typically be expected on a bank holiday. However, analysis shows that a number of enquiries could have been satisfied by other means such as self-care or seeking the advice of a pharmacist.

The NHS 111 service is there for when people need urgent help. Urgent is when illnesses and injuries are not life threatening but care may be required within 24 hours. The 111 service can advise whether someone should contact their GP practice, visit a pharmacist, call 999, or if needed, people can receive a call from a healthcare professional.

Seasonal minor illnesses, such as coughs, colds, ear aches, sore throats and upset stomachs are often an inconvenience rather than a serious medical concern and can be managed effectively at home and without the intervention of a healthcare professional.

Dr Ruth Grabham, Medical Director for BSW ICB said:
“Over the next few weeks, demand for our local health and care services is expected to be pushed to the limit. With another bank holiday approaching, we are asking local people to play their part and ensure they are using the range of NHS health services available to them appropriately.

“By accessing the right service at the right time, not only will people help reduce pressure on services, but they may also be treated faster.

“If it is a real emergency like a heart attack or a stroke always call 999 or go to your local A&E.”

You can find expert clinical advice on how to manage and treat hundreds of different health conditions at home via the NHS UK website.