‘Choose Well’ and help to relieve winter pressures.
South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust is appealing to members of the public to access the local ambulance service appropriately this winter so that vital resources remain available to respond to genuine life threatening medical emergencies in your local community.
Please think before you dial 999 for an ambulance. Choosing the right place to go for NHS treatment will help to ensure that you get the right care for you as soon as possible. Using an alternative to Accident and Emergency (A&E) when you aren't seriously ill could mean that you end up waiting less time to receive care. It will also leave emergency services free to respond to those who need them most.
Please remember A&E and 999 are for immediately life-threatening and emergency medical conditions only.
You should always call 999 for chest pain, choking, blackout, cardiac arrest, heart attack, severe loss of blood, stroke, and severe breathing difficulty.
John Nichols, Chief Operating Officer for SCAS said:
'Traditionally winter is an extremely difficult time for your ambulance service. Icy roads and pavements together with winter driving conditions and people drinking irresponsibly, especially in the run up to seasonal celebrations, often mean that our resources are extremely stretched. Members of the public can help us reach the patients in the greatest need by not calling us in less urgent medical situations and considering care providers that may be more appropriate to their medical needs. Please Choose Well, use the ambulance service wisely and only call us in a medical emergency.'
This winter Choose Well.
Choose your local Minor Injuries Unit or Walk-in Centre for deep cuts, eye injuries, severe sprains, minor head injury, minor burns and scalds, insect stings and dog bites.
Choose your GP for infections and persistent symptoms such as vomiting, ear pain, rashes, fever, depression, and generally feeling unwell.
Choose a pharmacist for coughs and colds, diarrhoea, minor infections, headache and advice when travelling abroad. And ask your pharmacist for everything you need to keep at home in a first aid kit to treat yourself and your family.
Choose NHS Direct at www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk or call 0845 4647 if you need advice or you're unwell, unsure, or confused about which is the best treatment route for you.
Choose Self Care for minor injuries and ailments including hangover, grazed knees or elbows, sore throat, coughs, minor cuts and minor sprains.
Published 24 October 2012.