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‘Choose the right service this summer’
7:00pm Monday 20th August 2012 in Keighley
Keighley people in need of an NHS service this summer are being urged to choose wisely.
Regional health chiefs issued the plea after figures showed two million people a year attend accident and emergency when they could have been treated with some basic self-care at home or with help from a pharmacist.
David Thompson, deputy chief nurse at NHS Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “Choosing the right service can help patients to be seen quicker by a doctor or nurse.
“We are not trying to dissuade anyone from coming to A&E if they really need to, but with a bit of guidance people will see that there is a whole range of NHS services which they can access which may better serve their needs. This can also make a big difference to the workload of A&E doctors and nurses.”
Twelve per cent of people have admitted using A&E even when they knew there was nothing seriously wrong with them.
Mr Thompson added: “We have to make sure that accident and emergency and 999 services are free to treat people with life-threatening conditions, such as heart attacks, strokes and serious accidents.”
To help people choose the right service for them, NHS Yorkshire and the Humber has developed an app for smartphones.
At the touch of a button, users can get the name and address of their nearest A&E department, GP, NHS walk-in centre, dentist, sexual health service or pharmacy as well as first aid and emergency advice and reminders about health appointments and medication.
More than 6,000 people are already using the app, which is available on iPhone, iPad, iPod and Android phones.
The app can be downloaded by going to iTunes or the Android market online or via yorksandhumber. nhs.uk.
Pharmacies can help people deal with minor illnesses and complaints such as coughs, colds, flu, stomach upsets, aches and sprains. Go to nhs.uk and use the free service finder.