Public urged to use the right NHS service this winter

The NHS in Leeds is reminding people to choose the right NHS service if they need urgent or emergency medical care this winter.

Dr Jason Broch, clinical chair of NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning (CCG), said: “The NHS is still here for you and your family this winter if you need help. However we are experiencing significant demand for services so please support us by seeking medical advice from the most appropriate service.

“If you’re not sure which service to use and it’s not a life-threatening emergency, visit NHS online or call 111. This service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and can be accessed at 111.nhs.uk or by calling 111 for free from mobiles and landlines.

Dr Broch has provided the following advice. For common ailments and illnesses, remember to keep a stock of  necessities such as anti-histamines, a thermometer, pain relief (paracetamol and ibuprofen), indigestion treatment and a first aid kit (plasters, bandage, antiseptic cream).

Emergency services should only be used for life or limb-threatening serious illness or injury.  Please help other people by avoiding calling 999 or visiting A&E departments unless it really is necessary. This means that we can ensure that people that need emergency care can get it as quickly as possible.

Dr Broch added: “Local GP practices have continued to remain open throughout the pandemic, although all initial appointments are carried out over the telephone or by video call. If you need to be seen face-to-face, your GP will let you know.

“Your local pharmacy is open and can offer advice as well as over-the-counter treatments, such as colds, stomach aches and sore throats.

We urge you to follow the latest Government advice on COVID-19 including remembering to socially distance, wearing a face covering and washing your hands regularly.”

There are two local urgent treatment centres located at Wharfedale Hospital in Otley and St George’s Urgent Treatment Centre in Middleton. They can treat a range of conditions including sprains and strains; broken bones; minor burns and scalds; head injuries; insect and animal bites and stings; minor eye injuries; and cuts, bruising and grazes. There is also a local walk-in centre located at Shakespeare Medical Centre in Burmantofts.

Anyone accessing the urgent treatment centres or walk-in centre will either be advised to attend by NHS 111 or will need to call the service on arrival. Without this prior screening, people will be unable to walk straight in, as the services look to reduce the spread of coronavirus and provide safe, low risk environments.

For more information to help you choose the right service visit: www.leedsccg.nhs.uk/health/reopening-safely/choosing-the-right-service/

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Issued by the communications team at NHS Leeds CCG. You can contact the team on 0113 84 35528 or 0113 84 35470. Alternatively, please email us: leedsccg.comms@nhs.net