Health and care leaders are calling on residents across Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin to help stretched A&E and GP surgeries this winter by re-thinking which service they opt for when unwell.
The Think Which Service campaign urges local people to ‘Think Self-Care’ and to consider using services such as their local pharmacy, Minor Injury Units or NHS 111, before turning straight to their GP, nearest A&E or dialling 999.
In Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin each year, more than 130,000 people turn up at A&E departments. While many of these patients require care from A&E staff, more than two thirds (63%) of A&E attendances last year could have been effectively treated elsewhere in the system, such as in an MIU or by a pharmacist.
Now, local GPs, pharmacists and nurses have come together to help raise awareness of which services are available and, importantly, when to use each one, as part of the Think Which Service initiative.
The campaign encourages people to self-care by taking simple steps to prevent illness such as keeping up to date with vaccinations, eating well, staying warm and keeping active. As well as checking in on vulnerable or elderly neighbours, friends or family members and keeping your medicine cabinet well stocked to enable people to treat themselves for minor aliments at home.
To find out more and get the right support in the right place, people can visit www.thinkwhichservice.co.uk online and follow the campaign on social media using #ThinkWhichService.
If you are unsure of which service is right for you, Think NHS 111 online. NHS 111 online is a fast and alternative to heading to A&E, pointing you to the correct service and advice all from the comfort of your own home. You can also dial NHS 111 from a phone.
Remember, 999 and A&E are for an emergency, or life-threatening situations only.