The local NHS is facing high demands and with the weather set to get colder over the next couple of days people are being reminded of the healthcare options available to them.
The emergency department at Queen Alexandra Hospital is currently very busy and so people are urged to consider if they could receive treatment or advice elsewhere. There are a number of healthcare options available in the local area.
Dr Elizabeth Fellows, GP and urgent care clinical lead for Portsmouth, Fareham and Gosport and South Eastern Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), said: “The last thing we want to happen is for people who really need emergency care to avoid coming to A&E however it is important to remember that the department is only for life-threatening emergencies such as chest pain, severe head injuries and loss of consciousness.
“Now that Christmas and New Year is over, almost all GP practices and pharmacies will be back to their normal opening hours so if you are not feeling well then see your GP practice or local pharmacist.
“There are many other healthcare services available locally that can support you if you are feeling unwell. If you need advice or urgent treatment but it’s not an emergency, call NHS111, it is much more than a helpline. Your local minor injuries unit can treat cuts, sprains and minor fractures, and your local pharmacy can also provide a wide range of treatment and advice for many common ailments and illnesses.
“Staff are working very hard to ensure we manage demand which is likely to continue for the next few days. This includes community care teams who are supporting people in their own homes and social care teams helping people to come home from hospital.”
Many common illnesses and injuries can be treated at home. There is a lot of information and tips available on the NHS Choices website at www.nhs.uk.
You can get help from your local pharmacy or chemist for many minor ailments and health related problems.
NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, every day. If you are worried about your health you can call 111 and get advice from fully trained advisers that are supported by experienced nurses and paramedics.
For ailments such as stomach pain and vomiting, a persistent cough or ear pain, call your GP surgery for advice.
For minor injuries, go to your local minor injuries unit (MIU) or walk-in centre. They can treat deep cuts, sprains and strains, broken bones, wound infections, minor burns and scalds, minor head injuries, minor eye injuries, and injuries to the back, shoulder and chest.
The following Minor Injuries Units are available locally:
Opening hours: 8am until 9pm, every day.
Telephone: 023 9279 4753
Emergency department and 999 emergency services
Only in a real emergency should you contact 999 or go to the emergency department. This should only be used for those most in need of emergency medical care, for example if you are having a stroke or heart attack.