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Health chiefs offer up bank holiday advice

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: May 02, 2014

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HEALTH chiefs have urged people across Burton and South Derbyshire to ‘make the right choice’ when faced with an emergency situation this bank holiday.

Doctors and ambulance bosses are advising the public to consider picking up the phone and dialing 111 to find the fastest route to the right care if they need to access non-urgent health services during the bank holiday weekend.

East Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is asking people to consider calling the non-emergency number when they are in need of healthcare advice.

Burton-based GP Charles Pidsley, chairman of East Staffordshire CCG, said: “Members of the public who call 111 will be assessed by highly trained call handlers and clinical staff who can direct them to the nearest and most appropriate health services for treatment.

“Those call handlers can also make all the arrangements necessary if they assess the caller as being in need of emergency care.”

People often turn up at accident and emergency or call 999 with illnesses and injuries that could be treated faster and more efficiently elsewhere, and in doing so put extra pressure on emergency services at periods that are already busier than usual.

Dr Pidsley added: “By calling NHS 111 patients can access appropriate alternatives faster and contribute to relieving the pressure on hard-pressed hospital departments.”

Dr Pidsley said there were other sources of professional advice and healthcare available to the public, including pharmacists.

East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) is encouraging people to prepare for the bank holiday by stocking up on medication.

Dr James Gray, EMAS’ medical director, said: “Common causes of calls are alcohol-related incidents and people with long-term conditions experiencing complications because they’ve run out of their medication. Unnecessary 999 calls can delay our response to someone who is in a life-threatening condition.

“For many minor ailments your local pharmacist can advise on treatment and many pharmacies are open.”

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