Somerset’s family doctors are reminding the public to avoid going to district hospital Accident and Emergency Departments with only minor illness or ailments.
Accident and Emergency Departments (A&E) are busy at this time of the year treating the seriously ill and injured. By stopping to consider what health treatment you really need for your level of illness you could save you and your family a lot of wasted time and inconvenience.
Here are your options for health advice or treatment:
FOR MINOR ILLNESS OR AILMENTS TRY SELF CARE:
Take care of your health and keep warm in the winter. Keep a few common, over the counterremedies at home. They can help you to look after yourself. But make sure you see your pharmacist or GP if troublesome symptoms persist or worsen.
These might include: Paracetamol or ibuprofen, remedies for indigestion or diarrhoea,
plasters and a thermometer. There is also lots of helpful health advice on the NHS Choices web site. Go to: www.nhs.uk
TALK TO YOUR LOCAL PHARMACIST:
Cough or cold or just feeling unwell and need advice? Visit your pharmacy for personal advice on common illnesses and for information on the best medicines for treatment.
Find a pharmacist near you - If you need to find your nearest pharmacist searching online at: www.nhs.uk or telephoning the 24 hour helpline 111.
111 - THE FREE NUMBER TO CALL IF YOU ARE UNSURE WHAT TO DO OR BECOME
ILL AFTER YOUR GP SURGERY HAS CLOSED:
Telephone 111 when you need medical advice or information quickly or when you don’t know what to do or where to go for treatment. Calls to 111 are free from mobiles and landlines to this 24/7 service.
Need an out-of-hours doctor? 111 is the number to call if you become ill after your GP surgery has closed in the evening, weekend or Bank Holidays. You will be assessed, given advice and directed straight away to the local health service that will help you best.
YEOVIL HEALTH CENTRE:
Located on the top floor of Boots in Middle Street, Yeovil the centre is open all year round. All conditions which are not life threatening can be treated here. Yeovil Health Centre also provides emergency contraception and sexual health advice and treatment.
Normal GP and nurse care is available as well as quick and convenient health checks including blood pressure and cholesterol. No appointments are necessary, walk in for prompt attention. Open 8am to 8pm, telephone 01935 709 269 www.yeovilhealthcentre.nhs.uk/
PERSISTENT PROBLEM - VISIT YOUR GP:
If you have a persistent health problem that is not going away make an appointment to see your GP. There are 75 GP surgeries across the county providing a range of services by appointment, including medical advice, examinations and prescriptions.
Should you become ill after your GP surgery has closed ring your surgery’s telephone number and listen to the answer phone message or telephone 111 for advice.
COMMUNITY HOSPITAL MINOR INJURY UNIT:
Many of Somerset’s community hospitals have Minor Injury Units (MIU). There are MIUs at community hospitals in Bridgwater, Burnham-on-Sea, Chard, Frome, Glastonbury, Minehead
and Shepton Mallet.
If your injury or ailment is not too serious you can get help from a Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) rather than a busy hospital A&E department.
To check the location and opening hours of your nearest Minor Injury Unit go online to:
Or telephone NHS 111 and they will tell you.
HOSPITAL ACCIDENT AND EMERGENCY AND 999:
Only use A&E or call 999 for life threatening and emergency conditions. If a family member is experiencing chest pain, stroke, heavy bleeding or has become unconscious telephone 999 immediately for an ambulance.
If any member of the public believes themselves, or a friend or relative, is experiencing a life threatening medical emergency then they should always telephone 999 and ask for an ambulance.