NHS Nene Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is reminding patients of the alternatives to A&E this winter. The cold weather is lingering which means it's even more important that patients are choosing the right care and following advice around self-care and staying well in the comfort of their own homes.
Winter conditions can be seriously bad for patients' health, especially for those aged 65 or over and patients with long-term conditions. It's important that patients protect and care for themselves and those around them.
Choosing well is about the patient choosing the right service if they become ill or injured. This ensures the best treatment can be given and allows busy NHS services to help the people who need it most.
Many pharmacies can give advice on treating symptoms such as diarrhoea, minor infections and headaches. People can visit the Corby Urgent Care Centre or Minor Emergencies at Northampton General Hospital for symptoms including suspected breaks, rashes, infections or cuts.
The Corby Urgent Care Centre is open every day between 8am-8pm including Sundays and bank holidays. Northampton Minor Emergencies is open 24 hours a day and is based next to A&E at Northampton General Hospital.
Self-care at home involves patients' taking care of themselves and their families in the comfort of their own homes. Illnesses that can be cared for at home include coughs, colds, sore throats and grazed knees.
If the patient's condition is not life threatening, NHS 111 can always help. The patient will be triaged by a trained professional who will advise of the local service that can best help. If a patient is ever in doubt and is unsure of what service they need, NHS Nene CCG recommend calling NHS 111.
Dr Darin Seiger, Chair of NHS Nene CCG, said:
“During the winter period we see a yearly increase in attendances to A&E for the wrong reasons. We are encouraging patients to seek other alternatives to A&E; including choosing a more suitable service to allow busy NHS services to help those that really need it and self-caring at home with a well-stocked medicine cabinet.
“Choosing well is about you choosing the right service and allowing people to use A&E when it's life threatening. If you are ever in doubt of which service you need and it's not an emergency, call NHS 111.
“Staying well at home with a well-stocked medicine cabinet, a warm home and leading an active and healthy lifestyle can often prevent many illnesses and minor injuries.”