Local doctors urge patients to choose NHS services wisely

Thursday December 31, 2015

Local doctors are urging people to think carefully about where to go for medical help this weekend.

Local health services are currently seeing and treating a significant number of patients and it is expected that this is only likely to rise over the coming weeks.

Dr David Whitehead, Clinical Director at NHS Coastal West Sussex CCG and local GP in Storrington, said: “Everyone working within the NHS wants people to be able to receive the best possible care and to recover as quickly as possible.

“There are pressures on local health services at the moment, in particular with a number of very sick and vulnerable older people. The teams across the area are doing a fantastic job, but if people can support us and think about the range of services available when they need help it would ease the pressure.”

Dr Rob Haigh, Deputy Medical Director, said: “As we expect at this time of year, both our acute hospitals are extremely busy. I am exceptionally proud of the efforts of our staff to ensure that all our patients receive the care they need. I also know how much our local population appreciates the work of our staff and recognise how important it is that our teams are able to focus on those patients in greatest need of our care.

“To help us achieve this, please do make yourself aware of the other treatment options available in your area, think about which one is most appropriate for you and encourage everyone you know to do the same.

“If you do decide to come to A&E with something that could be dealt with elsewhere, the unfortunate reality is that you will be diverting an emergency doctor or nurse away from treating someone who really needs them. One day, that could be you or someone you love.”

Dr Whitehead continued: “High street pharmacies are open across Coastal West Sussex this weekend and can help with free, quick advice on many health issues, how to look after yourself at home, and medicines to treat common illnesses and injuries.

“You can also call 111 for advice on how to treat yourself or where you can find the nearest, most appropriate NHS service. 111 can also book an appointment with an out-of-hours doctor.

“Going straight to A&E shouldn’t necessarily be the first choice, unless your condition is life-threatening. Making sensible choices about which NHS service to use can mean you still get the help you need but you also make sure emergency services are there for those that need that care the most. If you are not in serious need of help please use the wide range of help available elsewhere.”

Find out more about which NHS services are available over the New Year weekend, including which pharmacies are open on the bank holidays and weekends.

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