NHS advises extra care in cold weather

PUBLISHED: 09:18 05 January 2010 | UPDATED: 11:32 25 May 2010

RECENT freezing conditions have placed a high demand on the NHS, prompting medical staff to urge people to take extra care.

RECENT freezing conditions have placed a high demand on the NHS, prompting medical staff to urge people to take extra care.

With the cold weather continuing across North Somerset and Somerset, patients are being asked to consider the full range of options available for treatment and advice to ensure emergency facilities are not overrun.

The NHS Choose Well campaign is aimed at ensuring emergency ambulances, hospital A&E units and beds are available for people who genuinely need them.

Great Western Ambulance Service (GWAS) director of service delivery Jonathan Lofthouse said: "This winter, NHS organisations have shown how well they work together to provide the best levels of care for patients, despite very high levels of demand.

"As well as looking to treat more patients in their own home, we can also lay on additional resources to take patients from hospital beds, which increases hospital capacity.

"However, it is still important for patients to choose well so they receive the best access to the most appropriate advice or treatment."

Pharmacies, GP surgeries, minor injury units and walk-in treatment centres are all now back to normal operating hours following the festive period and patients are encouraged to think about using them in the first instance.

Alternatively NHS Direct is available 24hours a day on 0845 46 47 or at www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk

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