Help the NHS by choosing the right health service this winter

DO YOUR bit for the NHS and for the thousands of people cared for each winter by making sure that you use the right health service for your needs – that’s the message from Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.


The Trust, which runs Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital, Royal Hampshire County Hospital, in Winchester, and Andover War Memorial Hospital, has revealed that 15 per cent of patients who visit the emergency departments at Basingstoke and Winchester hospitals could receive the treatment they need from their GP.


With pressure expected to increase over the busy winter months, you can play your part by ensuring that you use the most appropriate NHS service for your care.


Call 999 in the event of a life-threatening emergency, such as persistent, severe chest pain or breathing difficulties. If you have an illness or injury that is not life threatening, you should contact your GP surgery first. GPs can treat and offer expert advice on a wide range of conditions.


If you are unsure which service would best suit your needs or your GP service is closed, you can call NHS 111, simply by dialling 111, where operators are on hand to give you advice and direct you to the most appropriate local service.


Dr Louisa Chan, clinical director for unscheduled care at Hampshire Hospitals, said:

We treated a record number of patients in our emergency departments last winter and expect to treat a similar number of people this year as well.

Staff across the Trust are doing a fantastic job of treating people who come into our emergency departments, but we need everyone to help ease the pressure on them by making sure that they use the correct service.

Over the last few months we have had people presenting at our emergency departments with things like sore throats and earache. These people certainly could have arranged for a consultation with their GP, reducing waiting times for everyone and allowing us to concentrate on patients who really need our specialist help.


Photo: Dr Louisa Chan

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