Patients urged to book only 'urgent' GP appointments due to high demand

PUBLISHED: 16:00 11 January 2018

The CCGs are trying to reduce pressure on GP services.

The CCGs are trying to reduce pressure on GP services.

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Doctor appointments should be left for only those with urgent illnesses because the demand for health services is so high.

Clinical leaders from across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire say practices are so stretched that people with minor ailments should hold off from seeing their doctor.

Instead, alternative sources for help are available.

MORE: Woman faces 22-hour wait for bed at Weston General Hospital.

Dr Peter Goyder, local GP and urgent care lead for Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire clinical commissioning groups, said: “The whole healthcare system is experiencing high levels of demand and if people can consider holding off booking an appointment where the issue isn’t urgent, that would really help as it means appointments are available for those in most need.

“Many minor ailments and seasonal coughs and colds are actually best treated with rest and over-the-counter medicines.

“Your local pharmacist can advise on the best course of action for your condition and they could save you a trip to the GP.

“Clinical pharmacists are also available in many local practices and can help patients with any questions they may have around medication and long-term conditions such as hypertension.

“To book an appointment with a clinical pharmacist, you should call your local practice.

“Taking action to stay well and support others over the winter months is important too.

“Taking up the flu vaccination when offered, keeping homes warm and looking out for more vulnerable neighbours and relatives can help us to avoid illness.”

* For more information, visit the NHS Choices website.

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