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Choose the right service this New Year

Clinicians across Suffolk and north east Essex are asking people to do what they can to prevent themselves becoming unwell and to choose the right NHS service for their needs if they need help this New Year’s Eve..

Their message on traditionally one of the busiest days of the year, comes as local hospital, GP and 111 services experience heightened demand.

GP Dr Richard West, said: “If it’s not an emergency or life-threatening condition, help the NHS to help you by choosing the right service for your needs.

“No one wants to spend new year’s eve waiting to be seen or contacted.

“There is a range of services that we have been promoting during the festive period that can support you.

“Please also self-care to treat minor illnesses and injuries like a coughs, colds, grazes, small cuts or a sore throat.  

“These can often be remedied if you look after yourself at home with over-the-counter medicines and plenty of rest and to ensure you are up-to-date with your vaccinations including flu and Covid vaccinations.

“You are much more likely to have a better experience of our services if you choose the right one for your needs.”

Jo Douglas, Chief Executive of AHP Suffolk, said: “If you have a problem with your joints, muscles or you experience back pain, there is no need to go to see your GP or visit A&E. 

“Most musculoskeletal problems can be self-managed without interventions from a clinician.  You can access NHS musculoskeletal self-help advice here, www.ahpsuffolk.co.uk, and refer yourself for physiotherapy if you find you need more support.  

“As with a cold or a headache, most people will be able to manage their symptoms themselves before considering seeing a physiotherapist or doctor.” 

Some of the provision available includes:

  • The NHS App is a simple and secure way for people to access a range of NHS services on their smartphone or tablet.  Its services include; checking symptoms, NHS information and advice on hundreds of conditions and treatments, booking GP appointments, ordering repeat prescriptions and getting urgent help using NHS 111 online
  • NHS website www.nhs.uk is always available for health advice and guidance.
  • Pharmacist – Pharmacists advise and treat illnesses like earache, painful cough, sticky eye, teething and rashes and by visiting your pharmacy you can avoid an unnecessary trip to your GP or A&E and save time. Pharmacies are open until late as well as at weekends and you don’t need an appointment.  Most pharmacies also have a confidential consulting area for anyone who wants to talk in private. Find your nearest pharmacy here: https://www.nhs.uk/service-search/find-a-pharmacy/
  • 111 – Call 111 or click on 111.nhs.uk if you’re feeling unwell, unsure or if you need health advice and guidance in non-life threatening emergencies – available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Out of hours GP services – If you urgently need to see a GP out of hours, then the 111 services can arrange this. If you can wait to see your GP within normal hours, many surgeries are open until at least 6 pm today (31 December 2021) – check your practice website for details.

During the festive period, the clinical commissioning groups in Suffolk and north east Essex have been promoting the full range of services available, posted a series of adverts in local newspapers and produced a handy guide

For more information please visit Keep well this winter - SNEE NHS COVID-19 Vaccination Service (sneevaccine.org.uk)

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