HEALTH MAT­TERS

Macclesfield Express - - MACCLESFIELD PEOPLE -

DR Ju­lia Hud­dart, clin­i­cal lead for ur­gent care at NHS East­ern Cheshire

As the CCG’s ur­gent care lead, one of my tasks is to make sure emer­gency health ser­vices are work­ing as ef­fi­ciently as pos­si­ble.

For that rea­son, I al­ways sup­port the CCG’s an­nual Choose Well cam­paign that gives peo­ple the in­for­ma­tion they need to opt for the right ser­vice at the right time so they get bet­ter quickly with­out cre­at­ing un­nec­es­sary work for the A&E de­part­ment or their GP prac­tice.

We do most of our Choose Well ad­ver­tis­ing in the win­ter, when pres­sure on health­care is at its great­est. And the cam­paign seems to be work­ing as fewer than one in 10 peo­ple vis­it­ing A&E at Mac­cles­field Hos­pi­tal last win­ter were sent away with ad­vice and in­for­ma­tion only. I want to thank read­ers for us­ing the NHS re­spon­si­bly but I also want to re­mind ev­ery­one that choos­ing well is im­por­tant all year round, in­clud­ing the sum­mer when things like hay fever and sun­burn can cause mis­ery for suf­fer­ers and put strain on health ser­vices. There­fore, I’m urg­ing peo­ple who suf­fer from hay fever to visit the NHS.

Choices web­site. It of­fers great ad­vice on treat­ing the symp­toms with reme­dies such as an­ti­his­tamines, nasal de­con­ges­tants and eye drops – all of which are avail­able from your com­mu­nity pharmacy. If your hay fever is more se­ri­ous, your GP can rec­om­mend other treat­ments. Sim­i­larly, NHS Choices is the place to go for sound ad­vice on pre­vent­ing sun­burn and treat­ing it if it hap­pens. You should use sun­screen when in the sun, keep your skin cov­ered with cloth­ing and wear a sun hat.

Mois­turiser can help ease dis­com­fort if you do get sun­burnt. Again, ef­fec­tive reme­dies are avail­able from your pharmacy. Ev­ery year, we mea­sure the ef­fec­tive­ness of Choose Well by ask­ing Cheshire East Coun­cil’s Ci­ti­zens’ Panel about the pre­vi­ous win­ter’s cam­paign. We dis­cov­ered that 40 per cent of mem­bers had seen last win­ter’s cam­paign – a big im­prove­ment on the pre­vi­ous year when only one in 10 had seen it.

Of those who saw the cam­paign, 84 per cent said it was clear and easy to un­der­stand while 63 per cent said they were now clearer on where to go for med­i­cal ad­vice.

In ad­di­tion, the sur­vey told us that most peo­ple had seen the cam­paign in their GP surgery or lo­cal news­pa­per or in a hos­pi­tal.

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