NHS Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is reminding patients of the alternatives to A&E this winter. The cold weather is lingering which means it’s even more important that patients are choosing the right care and following advice around self-care and staying well in the comfort of their own homes.
Winter conditions can be seriously bad for patients’ health, especially for those aged 65 or over and patients with long-term conditions. It’s important that patients protect and care for themselves and those around them.
Choosing well is about the patient choosing the right service if they become ill or injured. This ensures the best treatment can be given and allows busy NHS services to help the people who need it most.
Self-care at home involves patients’ taking care of themselves and their families in the comfort of their own homes. Illnesses that can be cared for at home include coughs, colds, sore throats and grazed knees.
If the patient’s condition is not life threatening, NHS 111 can help. The patient will be triaged by a trained professional who will advise of the local service that can best help. If a patient is ever in doubt and is unsure of what service they need, NHS Solihull CCG recommend calling NHS 111.
Urgent care services are now together under one roof within Solihull hospital. The Urgent Primary Care Service (“UPC Service”) offers non-emergency care for patients who do not have a prior or booked appointment.
It provides a ‘see and treat’ service for people with minor illnesses who need urgent medical attention. This service is open from 8:00am until 8:00pm seven days a week and works closely with colleagues at the Minor Injuries Unit, with a reception desk right next to the Minor Injuries Unit at the front of the hospital.
This does not replace the usual services offered by your registered General Practitioner including vaccinations, medical certificates, blood tests or longer-term care of medical problems.
Dr Anand Chitnis, Chair at NHS Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group, said:
“During the winter period we see a yearly increase in attendances to A&E for illnesses that could be treated elsewhere. We are encouraging patients to seek other alternatives to A&E; including going to their local pharmacy, seeking help on NHS Choices and calling NHS111, to allow busy NHS services to help those that really need it and self-caring at home with a well-stocked medicine cabinet.
“Choosing well is about you choosing the right service and allowing people to use A&E when it’s life threatening. If you are ever in doubt of which service you need and it’s not an emergency, call NHS 111.
“Staying well at home with a well-stocked medicine cabinet, a warm home and leading an active and healthy lifestyle can often prevent many illnesses and minor injuries.”