Patients across Gloucestershire are being urged to get the right healthcare advice this season and leave the county’s two Emergency Departments to care for people with serious injuries and life threatening conditions.

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

“Our emergency departments are very busy places, particularly during the autumn and winter months, and therefore we urge the public to do 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 fashion if you access other health services available. We need to focus our time on those patients who are seriously unwell.”

If people are ill or injured and are unsure where to turn, they are advised to follow the ASAP message – download the ASAP App (ASAP Glos NHS), Search the website (, Ask NHS 111 or Pop in to their local pharmacy.

Dr Andy Seymour, 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.

We have also invested in additional GP appointments for people who have illnesses that won’t go away, such as infections and long term health conditions.”

Candace Plouffe, Chief Operating Officer 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.

You are likely to be seen quickly, there is free parking available and you don’t need to make an appointment.”

The NHS in Gloucestershire is also keen to help stop the spread of winter vomiting bugs and offer the following advice:

  • Do not visit healthcare facilities like hospitals if you have had diarrhoea and/or vomiting until three days after symptoms have stopped (even if these were mild symptoms)
  • Do not visit friends or relatives in hospital if you have recently been in contact with anyone who has diarrhoea and/or vomiting
  • Always wash your hands frequently with warm water and soap. You should always do this after using the toilet and before preparing food. This is good practice whether or not you have symptoms
  • Do not handle or prepare food for other people until you have been free of symptoms for a minimum of three days
  • If you, or someone you care for, needs medical advice call NHS111 (or phone your GP surgery if you need medical assistance)


Notes to Editors

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
  • The Health Access Centre in Eastgate Street, Gloucester can see patients with illnesses such as chronic pain, stomach upsets, infections and blocked ears. The Centre has extended opening hours (8am to 8pm every day). Patients are encouraged to ring in advance (01452 336290) 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 and Illness Units across Gloucestershire also treat a variety of illnesses and injuries such as sprains, cuts and wounds, minor fractures and minor head injuries
  • You can find all the details for local services and get self-care advice at: or download the ASAP Glos NHS App from the App store.