Here are some tips to help you choose health services wisely this winter:
Self-care – A lot of illnesses or symptoms can be treated in your home by using a well-stocked medicine cabinet and by getting plenty of rest.
NHS 111 – This 24 hour, seven day service offers confidential health advice and information over the phone. To access the NHS 111 service text-phone, call 18001 111.
Pharmacist (chemist) – Your local pharmacist is a highly trained healthcare professional who can give you advice on common illnesses and the medicines you need to treat them. Most now have a quiet area away from other customers where you can speak to the pharmacist more privately.
GP – Your own GP is the best person to speak to about persistent health problems and illnesses that won’t go away. These include persistent coughs, joint pain and long term symptoms that haven’t suddenly deteriorated to a point where you are extremely unwell.
Minor Injuries Unit at Montagu Hospital – The unit is open every day from 9.00am to 9.00pm, except on Christmas Day when it is closed. The unit re-opens on Boxing Day. The unit is staffed by experienced emergency nurse practitioners who can assess and treat a wide range of minor injuries and ailments, including sprains, cuts and bruises, and some simple fractures.
Emergency Department or 999 – Hospital emergency departments provide immediate emergency care for people who show the symptoms of serious illness or are badly injured. If you call 999 for an ambulance the telephone advisor will arrange appropriate assistance for the patient based on information about the illness or injury.