There are many NHS service options this winter, from support from the NHS 111 service to walk in centres and of course A&E. But choosing the right service is not only important to you, but important to many others.
The majority of colds and flu like illnesses will be over in a few days and your pharmacist can help you manage the symptoms and give you practical advice. Pharmacies offer a wide range of services; many also have private consultation rooms if you would like to speak in confidence. If you receive regular medicines, please make sure that you order your prescription early, especially over the Christmas and New Year period. The opening times for pharmacies during the festive period can be found at www.northkirkleesccg.nhs.uk .
The NHS website contains information from the NHS on conditions, treatments, local services and healthy living and can be accessed at www.nhs.uk .
In each community, there are even more NHS services which can help people who are feeling under the weather. Local GPs in North Kirklees, in the run up to the festive period, are all working with patients to try and make sure all urgent appointments are met. The GPs are also reminding all patients who require repeat medication, to ensure they have ordered in advance. However, if you need an emergency supply of your usual repeat medication you can telephone 111. Your community pharmacy can also provide advice and treatments to manage coughs, colds and other minor ailments.
Patients registered with a North Kirklees GP practice can arrange GP appointments for urgent health problems on Saturday and Sunday mornings. The new service is accessed via a telephone hotline by calling 01924 351499 between 8am and 11.30am each weekend. The service, provided by Curo Health – a local federation of GP practices – will assess the patient’s condition by phone and, if appropriate, offer them an appointment at one of five health centres across North Kirklees.
Winter, and the build up to the festive season is a busy time of year and it is very easy, when you are ill or dealing with someone who is ill to call the number everyone remembers: 999, but there is a very important alternative with NHS 111.
NHS 111 makes it easier for you to access local NHS healthcare services in England. You can call 111 when you need medical help fast but it’s not a 999 emergency. NHS 111 is a fast and easy way to get the right help; it is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones.
The simple rules are call 111 if:
- you need medical help fast but it’s not a 999 emergency
- you think you need to go to A&E or need another NHS urgent care service
- you don’t know who to call or you don’t have a GP to call
- you need health information or reassurance about what to do next
In North Kirklees there are other services that can help too. There is the walk in centre based in the A & E department of Dewsbury and District Hospital which is open Monday to Friday 9am – 7pm, Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays 10am – 6pm, which can provide medical support and advice to anyone who comes through the door.
Dr David Kelly, Chair of North Kirklees CCG said;
“As we approach a busy time of festive celebrations and holidays, it is important that people remember the most appropriate NHS services for them, if they feel under the weather or have an emergency.
Anyone needing advice and treatment for non-emergencies should consider options such as contacting a local pharmacist or GP surgery or a call to NHS 111. In addition, the NHS website provides helpful information and advice on many common conditions, treatments and local services.
By looking at these options first and leaving 999 and A&E only for the most serious illness and emergencies, people can often get care closer to their homes and avoid an unnecessary visit to hospital. By doing this, it frees A&E to look after serious cases and save lives.”