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Lancashire public urged to 'think' before heading to A&E
4:00pm Tuesday 24th December 2013 in News
CHRISTMAS is one of the most demanding times for health services.
Winter health problems coupled with some services shutting over the festive period puts extra pressure on emergency departments and walk-in centres.
To ease the pressure, Clinical Commissioning Groups in Lancashire have launched a ‘Think!’ campaign, to encourage people to think before attending an emergency department or urgent care centre.
An emergency is a critical or a life-threatening situation, such as a suspected heart attack, head injury, or heavy blood loss. But coughs, colds, sore throats, vomiting and other minor ailments do not necessarily require a trip to an urgent care centre. Self-care could often be the first port of call but help and advice can also be sought from a pharmacist, who will advise when a GP visit may be necessary.
David White, GP clinical lead for Burnley, based at St Peter’s Centre, stressed patients should self-care if possible, or choose the most appropriate service for their needs – be that a pharmacy, a walk-in centre, or a GP – before turning up at A&E.
He urged patients with long-term conditions to ensure they are stocked up on medication before the holidays.
He said: “We’d like patients to be able to self-care, or know where to get information to self-care, or if they do need to see a medical service to choose appropriately. And for those who do go to hospital with something more serious, to get them home as soon as they can, or to manage them at home in the first place.”
Sharon Gallagher a ward manager at the Medical Assessment Unit (MAU) at Royal Blackburn Hospital, echoed Dr White’s sentiments. She said: “We will continue to run a service to meet demand, and take a high threshold of patients, regardless of the fact it’s a bank holiday.”
Self-care information can be found at http://www.nhs.uk/, or http:// www.patient.co.uk/.
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