Accident and Emergency departments across Essex are gearing up for one of the busiest nights of the year and NHS Castle Point and Rochford CCG is urging people to use NHS services responsibly.
This is one of the busiest times of year for the NHS so whether you’re staying in or going out for your New Year’s celebrations and find yourself needing help, please think about whether your condition is life-threatening or critical before you go to A&E.
A&E should only be used for critical or life-threatening emergencies and there are plenty of alternatives if people need healthcare such as NHS 111, your local pharmacy, or self-care.
By using these alternative services, you can help support A&E staff to prioritise treatment for those people who are seriously ill and in need of urgent care.
If you are feeling unwell, you can access healthcare in the following ways:
• Call 111 – If you are unsure of what health service you need, or you need advice quickly. The 111 telephone number is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Trained call handlers can provide clinical assessment and advice and direct you to the best health service for your ailment. This may include access to a GP out of hours.
• Treat yourself for minor illnesses and sprains, sore throats or a cough
• Keep simple painkillers and cough remedies in a safe place at home and have a first aid kit handy. This is the best way of treating hangovers, sore throats or grazes.
• Ask your local pharmacist for advice on minor illnesses. Pharmacists can provide expert advice and simple treatments. For details of pharmacies open on Christmas Day, click here.