“Need medical help fast, but it’s not an emergency? Find the right service fast” is the message of a new campaign being launched by the local NHS to raise public awareness of different NHS services available to them. The striking yellow and black campaign is being used across Essex to encourage people to use the most appropriate NHS service when they become ill.
One of the main aims of the campaign is to raise public awareness of the NHS 111 telephone service as a key first point of contact for non-emergency medical help. The campaign is supported by a new website - ‘GetWellEssex.com’ where people can simply type in their postcode and choose from a list of symptoms to find out details of which service they should contact.
People often feel unwell with various symptoms and do not know the best place to get help. ‘GetWellEssex.com’ has been developed with input from local clinicians to direct people to the most appropriate local NHS service.
The Essex-wide campaign is being led by Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), including NHS Castle Point and Rochford CCG and NHS Southend CCG, who involved local residents in planning their local campaign. The two south east Essex CCGs have been working on this campaign in partnership with their patient groups (which are made up of local residents who have chosen to get involved with local NHS decision making).
CCG staff and patient representatives carried out a survey at Southend Hospital’s A&E department to find out why those who could have gone elsewhere chose to attend A&E instead of using a different NHS service. The results indicated a lack of awareness of other services available, such as NHS 111 which is a focus of the campaign.
The campaign in south east Essex includes: specific advertising in baby clinics and children’s centres, bus advertising, a children’s book telling a story linked to the key campaign messages, advertising in local colleges, and a Facebook marketing campaign.
Angelina Clark, a Southend resident and member of the patient group said:
“While there is a time and place for going to A&E in a genuine emergency, it is evident that not everyone who heads to A&E needs to be there. I really enjoyed being part of this project and brainstorming ways of getting important messages to our local community.”
Dr Kashif Siddiqui, local GP and Engagement lead for NHS Castle Point and Rochford CCG said: “Where possible, we are keen to build patient insight into everything we do as a CCG. We are very grateful to our patient group members who helped us with their enthusiasm, ideas and support for this important campaign.
It is important that people are aware of, and use the right NHS services. Look for the yellow and black campaign in your local area. If you become ill, and aren’t sure which service to use, visit www.GetWellEssex.com to use the symptom checker or call NHS 111 and find the most appropriate local service for you.”