Help us manage demand for our services this winter
We strive to provide you with first class care this winter and are putting in place stringent measures to manage the expected increased demand. These additional pressures are attributed to seasonal flu, norovirus and inclement weather increasing accidents. This year, there will also be the extra challenge of living with COVID-19 and the impact of people mixing. Therefore, we need you to play a role in managing this demand.
You can help your local NHS have good days this winter by following this advice: if you require medical attention, choose the right service for your needs - this is to ensure the organisations can treat and care for the people that need them the most. There are lots of services available for our communities to ensure they stay well this winter. If you require urgent, but not life-threatening medical advice please visit NHS 111 online. Your local pharmacies are also available. Pharmacists offer expert advice for many common winter ailments such as coughs and colds, sinusitis, earaches and sore throats. Details of the available services can be found below.
In addition, research shows being in familiar surroundings helps to aid recovery. Therefore, we are also asking for your assistance in getting your relatives and loved ones home when they are medically fit for discharge. You can do this by bringing in clean clothes, providing transport and ensuring their house is warm and stocked with food for their return.
Flu and coronavirus vaccines are also a vital tool in protecting the vulnerable members of our public and our health and care teams. If you have yet to have your vaccines or COVID-19 booster and are eligible we would strongly encourage you to do so as soon as possible.
Available NHS services
The following services can provide you with fast, effective treatment in many situations. By choosing the most appropriate service for your situation you are helping us be more effective and provide care to those that need us most.
NHS 111 online and phone service
111 is the NHS non-emergency online and phone service. It's fast, easy and free. Visit 111.nhs.uk or call 111 and speak to a highly trained adviser, supported by healthcare professionals.
They will ask you a series of questions to assess your symptoms and immediately direct you to the best medical care for you.
NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones.
General Practitioners (GPs)
GPs deal with a whole range of health problems and should be the first place you contact if possible. If your GP cannot deal with a problem, then you'll usually be referred to a hospital for tests, treatment, or to see a consultant with specialist knowledge.
Minor Injuries Units (MIUs)
If your injury is not serious, you can get help from a minor injuries unit or urgent care centre, rather than going to an A&E department. MIUs can help with a variety of issues such as sprains and strains, broken bones, minor wound infections and minor burns.
Minor injuries units and urgent care centres are usually led by nurses, and an appointment is not necessary.
Pharmacists are highly trained health professionals. They're experts in medicines, and use their clinical expertise to advise you on common problems, such as coughs, colds, aches and pains, as well as healthy eating and stopping smoking. Pharmacists can also help you decide whether you need to see a health professional.