There doesn’t seem to be a day go by where we don’t hear about the ever increasing pressures on the NHS. Whether it be for funding, a lack of beds or the good work that these people do 24 hours a day 7 days a week 365 days a year.
In Torbay and the wider region of South Devon, it is vital that we all do our bit to help decrease the pressure on the NHS. Obviously if you do have a genuine emergency it is imperative you call 999 and ask for an Ambulance. But what if you just have that lingering cough, or that constant headache or another health matter.
NHS 111 is the free none emergency phone number that is available 365 days a year, 24 hours a day and is staffed by experienced and trained medical professionals that can help and advise you on the right course to resolving your medical concerns.
Once you are through you will be asked a series of questions to ascertain what your symptoms are and from their given the next step in your journey to receiving the best possible healthcare for your medical needs. The care options open to you varies, from seeing your GP, out of hours doctor, urgent care or walk in centre, community nurse or a late opening chemist, they may also point you in the direction of your local pharmacy.
Dr Shelagh McCormick, a Devon GP said:
“Christmas and New Year is always a busy time, with high numbers of patients using NHS services.
But winter brings its own pressures and, with numbers of flu cases rising and lots of coughs and colds about, it’s important that people get the very best out of the NHS.
People with minor ailments have a wide range of options, including visiting an MIU (Minor Injuries Unit) or phoning 111. Some people may wish to book an appointment to see a GP or visit a pharmacy.”
For less than urgent health care concerns you should contact your local pharmacist or your GP.
More information about staying well this winter can be found on the official NHS Staying Well website at www.nhs.uk/staywell/