DR JULIA HUDDART, CLINICAL LEAD FOR URGENT CARE AT NHS EASTERN CHESHIRE CCG
THE NHS is a huge organisation with many departments, each having a key role to play in looking after us when we’re sick.
There are many NHS services on your doorstep, and knowing which one to choose when you’re in need ensures you receive the most appropriate care straight away.
Although it’s great to have so many services to choose from, it can sometimes make things confusing when you’re deciding which one is best for you.
It is important that we know where to go for treatment, especially in winter, when patient demand for healthcare increases and it becomes more crucial than ever that we don’t use urgent or emergency care, or the GP practice, unless it’s absolutely essential.
Here are some top tips to help you choose the right care at the right time to help you get better quickly:
For minor illnesses and injuries, such as colds, sore throats and tickly coughs, self-care is best.
The best way you can practise self-care is by having a well-stocked medicine cabinet prepared for if you fall ill.
You can contact your local pharmacist for fast, effective, expert advice on health problems such as an upset tummy, runny nose or a headache.
Your GP practice is best for problems that just won’t go away, for example a cold that has lasted over 10 days or a sore throat you’ve had for longer than a week.
If you’re unsure, confused or need advice, you should use the NHS website at www.nhs.uk or contact NHS 111.
They can give you medical advice and direct you to the most appropriate service, which may be the GP Out-Of-Hours service at Macclesfield Hospital.
A minor injury and illness service is best for cuts, strains and sprains.
You can find your nearest urgent care centre by visiting nhs.uk and clicking ‘find other urgent care services.’
You should only call 999 or visit A&E at Macclesfield District General Hospital in life-threatening emergencies such as strokes, severe bleeding or breathing difficulties.