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Patients advised to ‘keep doing the right thing’ and Choose Well

Patients across Gloucestershire are today being asked to ‘keep doing the right thing’ and choose the most appropriate healthcare options to meet their needs during the busy winter months.

Dr Tom Llewellyn, Clinical Director for Emergency Care at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said:

“It is important to remind people that our emergency departments are still under significant pressure and this is likely to continue during the winter weeks ahead. Therefore, we would advise the public to keep doing the right thing and only use A&E if they have life threatening conditions or serious injuries.

If it isn’t a genuine emergency, you are likely to receive the care you need in a more timely way if you access other health services available.”

Dr Helen Miller, Clinical Chair of NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group said:

“The choice of healthcare options is often greater than people realise, particularly for the treatment of minor ailments.

The local pharmacy is a great first port of call. Pharmacists are qualified to give advice on a range of conditions, are experts on medicines and can advise people on whether they need to call or visit another NHS service.

If people are unsure about what health services to access and just don’t know where to turn, they can call NHS 111 or visit the Choose Well Gloucestershire website which provides details of all the services available.”

Susan Field, Director of Service Transformation at Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust, which runs the county’s community hospitals and its community nursing service, said:

“We have minor injury units at all seven of our community hospital sites where we can treat a wide range of conditions including minor illnesses, sprains, simple fractures, minor burns, stitches and skin problems and would encourage people to use these where possible as an alternative to A&E.

Our community services and integrated community teams, including our Rapid Response service, work closely with GPs across the county to help ensure people are able to recover in their own homes instead of going to a hospital unnecessarily.”

Robust plans have been in place to help manage increased demand. Measures include increasing the number of staff at the emergency departments, increasing the beds available across Gloucestershire and promoting community alternatives to hospital admission with health professionals and the public.

Health service options for the public

  • The local pharmacy is a great first port of call for minor ailments. Pharmacists are qualified to give advice on a range of conditions, are experts on medicines and can advise people on whether they need to call or visit another NHS service
  • If people are unsure about what health services to access, they can also call NHS 111
  • The Health Access Centres in Eastgate Street, Gloucester and Cassin Way, Cheltenham can see patients with illnesses such as chronic pain, stomach upsets, infections and blocked ears. The Centres have extended opening hours and offer a same-day service, however patients are encouraged to ring in advance (GHAC – 01452 336290) or (CHAC – 01242 548298/548299) to get an appointment time convenient to them.
  • If a patient has a ‘flare up’ of a long standing illness such as kidney or lung disease, bronchitis, asthma or diabetes that is not responding to self-care or advice from their pharmacist, a call to their GP surgery is the best course of action to take.
  • Community Hospital Minor Injury Units across Gloucestershire also treat a variety of injuries and illnesses such as sprains, cuts and wounds, minor fractures and minor head injuries. Compare live waiting times at gloshospitals.nhs.uk
  • You can find all the details for local services and get self-care advice at: choosewellglos.nhs.uk
  • Don’t access hospitals or health settings if you have Norovirus. Find out more about Norovirus: ‘Combat Norovirus’
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