‘Do the right thing’ by using right services, says CCG

Clevedon School has thanked the NHS

Clevedon School has thanked the NHS - Credit: Archant

Residents in North Somerset are being urged to ‘do the right thing’ by using the right health services for their needs.

Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire CCG has advised people to avoid A&E for all but serious or life-threatening emergencies.

These include loss of consciousness, acute confused state and fits that are not stopping, breathing difficulties, severe allergic reactions, severe bleeding that cannot be stopped and severe burns or scalds.

This will allow hospitals to focus on the patients who need them the most.

People with minor injuries such as sprains, cuts or burns are being asked to go to their local minor injury unit for help, while those with minor illnesses are asked to contact their GP.

Minor injuries include conditions that can be self-treated or are uncomplicated and do not require further investigations.

Coughs are also classified as minor illness, although people with potential coronavirus symptoms including a new, continuous cough or high temperature should use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do.

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CCG medical director Dr Martin Jones said: “The Covid-19 outbreak presents an unprecedented challenge to local health and care services and we have to make sure hospitals are free to focus on the patients who need them most.

“Most people already know A&E isn’t the best place for minor injuries or illnesses and at this time it’s absolutely vital people heed this advice and take these conditions to their GP or local minor injury unit first.

“MIUs are available 12 hours a day including weekends, and we’ve put in place extra staffing resources to make sure people continue to be seen promptly.

“Local GPs will also be using phone and digital consultations to make sure they can see the maximum number of patients.

“Staff in MIUs and GP practices are doing a fantastic job to support our hospitals and I know we can count on members of the public to help by using the right services for their needs.”

People are also being reminded to contact NHS 111, at any time, for immediate help with urgent but non-emergency conditions.

If you’re not sure whether it’s an emergency, contact NHS 111.