The Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (BCCG) is appealing for people to consider whther they really need to go to A&E.
In September this year there were 6,080 admissions to bedford Hospital A&E and nationwide attenbdances at A7E have oincreased by more than 1.3 million over the past decade.
Dr Sanjay Sharma, local GP and Chair of the Chiltern Vale Locality for the BCCG, says there are alternatives to going to A&E for treatment.
“Just eight less attendees at A&E could help reduce the financial strain on your NHS and will mean we can invest more into care within our community,” he said.
“For most minor illnesses, usual winter bugs and minor cuts, self-care at home is the best choice, allowing A&E doctors and nurses to help those with life threatening illnesses.”
There are some easy ways people can prepare for winter and also help protect themselves from illness.:
>Get a flu vaccination
>Keep warm - heat your home to at least 18 degrees
>Pick up repeat prescriptions so you have enough medicine while pharmacies/surgeries are closed
>Make sure you have enough food and a well-stocked medicine cabinet at home
>Take your prescribed medicines as directed
>Stay active – moderate exercise can help keep you warm and well during winter
Using a pharmacist as a first point of contact when you’re unwell and would like to speak to a health care professional is often the best thing to do. They can help with minor ailments, can give medical advice and help with medicines.
If you’re unable to access a pharmacist, ringing NHS 111 is also a great way of seeking advice from a highly trained advisor supported by healthcare professionals. Your symptoms will be assessed and you’ll be immediately directed to the most suitable medical care.
If you would like an appointment at your GP practice, appointments are often available with fully trained Minor Illness Nurses who will be able to advise on most conditions and prescribe medication if necessary. Another great way to get medical advice from your GP is by requesting a GP telephone consultation.