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Choose Well – know where to go for healthcare this winter

As the cold weather bites and the usual winter ailments and injuries begin to take hold, North East Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group is urging local people to think twice before they go to Accident and Emergency or dial 999. These services are for people with serious injuries, illnesses and emergencies only.

Throughout North East Lincolnshire there are a range of local healthcare services available for people to go to, without having to wait for an appointment, if they have a minor illness, ailment or injury.

Over the winter period Accident and Emergency departments and 999 services become very busy and in a number of cases patients could have sought treatment elsewhere. To ensure everyone receives the fastest and most effective treatment people need to choose the most appropriate service for their needs.

Dr Rakesh Pathak GP and Clinical Lead Unplanned Care, North East Lincolnshire CCG said: “First and foremost look after yourself. You can often self-treat many minor winter illnesses and injuries at home by keeping your medicine cabinet and first aid kit well-stocked. Most simple ailments will begin to get better within a couple of days.

“If you are on repeat medication then I strongly recommend you think ahead and make sure you have enough medication to last when your GP surgery may be closed. Don’t use A&E as a back-up pharmacy, plan ahead and order enough to see you through the Christmas and New Year holidays.

“If you do need professional help you can get fast, confidential and expert advice and treatment for many minor ailments and injuries from your local pharmacist without an appointment. They can give you advice on the best over the counter medication for common winter complaints such as coughs and colds that suit your condition and medication you may already be taking.

“If your pharmacist is unable to deal with your condition they can advise on when to see your GP. To find details of GP practices in your area visit www.nhs.uk. To access a GP out of hours call the local health advice line and out-of-hours GP service on 01472 256222. You can also call the local health advice line if you are unsure where to go. They will advise and direct you to the right place for treatment. Lines are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

“A number of pharmacies are open over the Christmas and New Year holiday period.”

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