Choosing the right care at Christmas

After a challenging year, we are no doubt all hoping and planning for perhaps a slightly different kind of Christmas, in amongst the ongoing coronavirus restrictions and action to stay safe with face coverings, handwashing, distance between us and self isolating.

NHS North East Lincolnshire CCG is reminding people what services are available should they need medical treatment and advice over the holidays.

This year the NHS is managing extra demand in taking care of people unwell with COVID-19 and it’s important that we choose the appropriate service and practise self care for minor ailments and ease the pressure where we all can.

Dr Ekta Elson, local GP and Medical Director for the CCG, explained, “The NHS is still here for you and if you need to contact medical services over the holiday, please consider carefully if you really need to sit and wait in A&E because you can get access to health advice and information by phoning the Single Point of Access (SPA) on 01472 256 256, which is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”

“If you are feeling unwell and have any questions about your health and think you need to see a GP, then please ring the Single Point of Access (SPA) and speak to a fully trained call adviser, who is supported by experienced clinicians. They will assess your symptoms and give you the healthcare advice you need or direct you to the most appropriate local service.”

“Alternatively, your local pharmacist is highly qualified and can provide confidential and expert advice on common health conditions and vital over the counter medicine for treatment. This enables you to look after yourself and your family and self-treat many minor illnesses and injuries at home by keeping your medicine cabinet and first aid kit well-stocked with medicines.”

Most minor ailments will begin to get better within a couple of days and it’s important to remember that if you are suffering from a sickness bug and diarrhoea then please stay home, rest and drink plenty of fluids and don’t go to your GP or other places where you can spread the virus to others.

If you and your family are taking repeat medicines then we strongly recommend you plan ahead and make sure you have enough of the medicines you need to last over the holiday period, when your GP surgery may be closed.

For details of the pharmacies open over the Christmas and New Year bank holidays check here: Pharmacy Opening Times Christmas/New Year The information is correct at the time of publishing, so please phone and check with the pharmacy before travelling. 

Choosing the appropriate NHS service for you helps the local NHS keep emergency services free for those that need them the most.  A&E and 999 services are for the management of life-threatening and emergency conditions only and we need to leave this service for those that need it most and avoid adding extra pressures to these NHS Services.

Christmas can be a really difficult time of year and following the struggles people have been experiencing due to coronavirus we shouldn’t forget our mental health and wellbeing at this festive time.

If you are finding the holiday period overwhelming and stressful and you’re struggling to cope you may need someone to turn to and talk to. You may be living with a mental health condition or know someone who does and there is support and information available during the holidays from various organisations.

You can contact mental health support services (including crisis support) in North East Lincolnshire 24/7 over the holidays by calling: Single Point of Access (SPA) 01472 256256

Other advice and support services include:

Lincsline 0808 8001010
Mental health support line open 5pm - 9am Monday to Friday and 24 hours on weekends and bank holidays.

Samaritans  Phone 116 123 (call free anytime) https://www.samaritans.org/

Kooth.com 
https://kooth.com/ 

Free, safe and anonymous online advice and support for young people aged 16 – 25 available 24/7

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