NHS North East Lincolnshire CCG has launched a new campaign this autumn to encourage people to phone for advice if they have a minor illness or injury.
North East Lincolnshire has a local phone number people can ring if they have an urgent health need that is not a 999 emergency.
By calling 01472 256256, they may get instructions how to take care of the problem themselves or be advised to visit a pharmacy. Others will need an out of hours GP appointment or they may be told to go to A&E if theirs is a real emergency. People can also get mental health or social care support by ringing the same number.
“Sometimes people are unsure where to get medical advice they can trust when their own GP practice is closed on an evening or weekend,” explained local GP Dr Rakesh Pathak. “A&E is really only for the most serious problems, and people don’t always realise if their problem is not an emergency, they can often get quicker and more appropriate treatment elsewhere.
“The staff at A&E are always really busy dealing with very serious injuries or illness and it helps if people who don’t really need to be there, don’t turn up unnecessarily. Depending on their problem, A&E might not even be able to treat them.
“The message we are trying to get across is if it’s not a real emergency - if it can wait - then please, give SPA a ring on 01472 256 256 and get advice about what the best course of action is for you or your family member. If they think you still need to go to A&E, they will tell you.”
The new posters will be appearing on social media and in public buildings such as GP practices and children’s centres over the coming weeks.
For further information please contact the NHS North East Lincolnshire CCG Communications Team.