People who need health help this winter are being urged to choose the right place for treatment and help ease the pressure on local NHS services.
The NHS in Norfolk and Waveney is reminding people of the range of options available to them, which include:
- Self caring at home for common conditions such as coughs, colds and sore throats, using over the counter medication.
- Local pharmacists, who are experts in medicines and can give advice about minor illnesses so that you can care for yourself at home.
- Your GP surgery, which can offer appointments with different clinicians, including a doctor or nurse, depending on your needs.
- Walk-in centres: Norwich Practices Health and Walk-in Centre is open seven days a week between 7am and 9pm. It is based at Rouen House, Rouen Road, Norwich, telephone 01603 677500. Cromer Hospital’s Minor Injuries Unit is open seven days a week between 8am and 7.45pm, in Mill Road, Cromer, telephone 01603 646230.
- NHS 111 can help if you have an urgent medical problem and you’re not sure what to do. This service is free to call and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Your call will be answered by a trained call handler, whose job it is to ensure you can access the most appropriate local service. You can call 111 if:
- you need to see a GP urgently when your practice is closed. NHS 111 can arrange for an emergency out of hours doctor to help if necessary.
- you need medical help fast but it’s not a 999 emergency.
- you think you need to go to A&E or need another NHS urgent care service.
- you don’t know who to call or you don’t have a GP to call.
- you need health information or reassurance about what to do next.
Dr Anoop Dhesi, Chair of NHS North Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “All our services are really busy including our hospitals and GP services. We are asking people to think really carefully about where they go for health care. Our walk-in centres, pharmacies and NHS 111 are often the best places to go when it’s urgent and not an emergency.”
People are also being reminded to stock up their medicine cabinets and make sure they have enough prescription medication to last them through Christmas and the New Year.
Those who take regular medication should make sure they have ordered enough to last through the holiday period or ask their GP practice for a new prescription.
Planning ahead like this is very important to help stay well and it also helps the NHS at a time when services are busy.
It is also important to make sure medicine cabinets contain all the essential items.
Medicine cabinet essentials include:
• painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen, including versions for children
• over-the-counter cough, cold, flu and indigestion remedies
• antiseptic cream