“Think which service” this winter, urge health leaders
Health leaders in Derby and Derbyshire are urging people to “think which service” is right for their needs, as organisations prepare for winter season pressures.
The “Think which service” information campaign has launched with a guide to NHS services for the 1.1 million residents of Derby and Derbyshire.
The campaign aims to help people get quicker care in the most appropriate place.
It focuses on advice to keep well; on the wide range of services available at a community pharmacy; on NHS 111 online; on local urgent treatment centres; and the ways people can “self care” and look after their own health.
Dr Chris Weiner, NHS Derby and Derbyshire chief medical officer, said: “We are urging people to think which service they need as we go through the winter months.
“When you or someone you care for needs medical assistance, particularly in an urgent situation, it can be difficult to think clearly about what to do.
“So we will be running an information campaign across our NHS services to explain which is the right service for them at the time they need it.”
Dr Andy Mott is a GP at Jessop Medical Practice, Alfreton, and medical director of Derby and Derbyshire GP provider board.
He said: “The NHS always comes under increased pressure over the winter months – whether that’s in our GP practices, at hospital emergency departments, in the ambulance service or elsewhere.
“That’s because many people’s conditions – such as breathing problems – worsen in the cold weather and because of seasonal illnesses, such as flu.
“However, people can help to manage their conditions and to get better quicker by choosing the NHS service that is right for them.
“We will support you by explaining which service to use to help you make the right choice and manage your condition or get better. We ask that patients help our NHS by taking a look at the information on our website and in local GP practices, clinics and hospitals.”
The Joined Up Care Derbyshire ‘Think which service?’ webpage encourages people to find out about the services available locally and to help them be prepared should they find themselves needing urgent healthcare.
Information to support the campaign is being shared across the health and care system in Derby and Derbyshire, so healthcare professionals can help to direct local people to the right care for their needs.
The service guide includes:
Think self care
Protect yourself and your family by getting the flu and covid vaccinations, if you are eligible. Stay at home if you are ill so you don’t spread your germs and wash your hands to help prevent infection from spreading.
Stay warm over winter – there are many “warm hubs” in our local communities – and look after your neighbours and family members if they need it.
Keep stocked up with any medicines you need, particularly over the bank holidays at Christmas, and have a supply of medicines to relieve the symptoms of coughs and colds.
If you or someone you’re with has a medical problem that isn’t life-threatening but requires immediate help, NHS 111 will get you assessed and directed to the right place 24/7, 365 days a year.
NHS 111, which is available online or by phone, can give you advice and help for dealing with your symptoms, arrange for you to speak to a relevant healthcare professional, organise face-to-face appointments, and provide you with information on how to get a repeat prescription and where to get an emergency supply.
Speak to your local community pharmacist in confidence, without an appointment, about:
- Coughs, colds and the flu
- Aches, pains & minor injuries
- Oral contraception
- Skin rashes and allergies
- Urinary tract infections
- Ear and eye care
- Stomach aches such as constipation, diarrhoea, haemorrhoids, or threadworm
- Help with medication and repeat prescriptions
- Advice on healthy living – how to eat better, lose weight, exercise and stop smoking
See your GP if you have persistent, recurring problems that are not improving with self care.
Many GPs are supported by a team of healthcare professionals, who may be better placed to help you.
They may be able to see you more quickly than the GP and they can often offer longer appointments times. Examples of healthcare professionals in the GP’s team include:
- General practice nurses
- Advanced nurse practitioners
- Advanced clinical practitioners
- Healthcare assistants
- Clinical pharmacists
- Social prescribers
- Mental health practitioners
Urgent treatment centres
You can go to an urgent treatment centre if you need urgent medical attention, but it’s not a life-threatening situation.
Urgent treatment centres are GP-led, open at least 12 hours a day, every day, offer appointments that can be booked through 111 or through a GP referral, and are equipped to diagnose and deal with many of the most common ailments, without going to A&E.
Derbyshire has urgent treatment centres at Ilkeston Community Hospital, Whitworth Hospital (Darley Dale), Ripley Community Hospital, Buxton Hospital and Osmaston Road, Derby.
Hospital emergency department
The emergency department, or accident and emergency, is the place for serious or life-threatening injuries and illnesses. Many less serious injuries or illnesses can be treated more quickly, more locally, using alternative services. These include Derbyshire’s urgent treatment centres, GP practices, and NHS111.
When to dial 999 or go to A&E:
- Signs of a heart attack
- Signs of a stroke
- Sudden confusion
- Severe difficulty breathing
- Heavy bleeding
- Severe injuries
- Sudden, rapid swelling