Sometimes our urgent care services are not always used in the right way. Each year we see an increase in the number of people visiting the Emergency Department (A&E) when they could have received the help that they needed from their Pharmacist, GP or our Urgent Treatment Centre.
The Right Treatment Right Place campaign aims to give you the information you need to help you find healthcare advice and services should you or a family member become unwell. It uses a simple traffic light system to give you information on three areas of care:
Lots of problems can be treated just by looking after yourself. Home is often the best place when you’re feeling unwell.
Making sure you have over-the-counter products such as painkillers, antiseptics and plasters in your medicine cupboard means that if you or your family becomes unwell, you have something to help.
Drinking plenty of water is a good way to help you get better if you are feeling unwell. Avoid fizzy drinks and pure fruit juices.
Getting plenty of rest can also help.
Did you know:
- Viruses that cause coughs, colds and sore throats cannot be treated by antibiotics
- Maintaining a healthy diet and taking plenty of exercise can help you keep fit and well
- Eating five portions of fruit and vegetables a day and drinking lots of fluids may help protect you from a number of preventable illnesses
For more information on self-care including children CLICK HERE
Professional Health Services
Health professionals such as your Pharmacist, GP or Dentist provide a range of medical advice and treatment. You can save time by seeing the most appropriate health professional first. For example you could visit your local pharmacist instead of your GP.
Visiting your pharmacist can be a quick way of accessing medical help and advice. As well as dispensing prescriptions, they provide a wide range of services and immediate help and advice on many illnesses such as cold and flu, stomach upsets and sore throats. You don’t need an appointment and you can speak to your pharmacist in private and in confidence. Many pharmacists have extended opening hours including evening and weekends. For more information about pharmacy services CLICK HERE.
Contact your GP
You should contact your GP if you or a family member has a condition that you or your pharmacist cannot treat.
The Primary Care Access Service (PCAS) offers appointment times outside tradition GP practice hours. Patients can pre-book – via their GP practice - routine evening or weekend appointments with a healthcare professional at one of five neighbourhood hubs. Also, when GP practices are closed, patients who require urgent but not life-threatening assistance may also be offered an appointment at one of the five neighbourhood hubs via NHS 111.
For more details on how to contact your GP CLICK HERE
Anyone with a health condition that cannot be treated by a pharmacist or GP should call NHS 111 or go online https://111.nhs.uk/, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
By contacting NHS 111 before going to an Emergency Department or Urgent Treatment Centre, will:
- Ensure you GET THE RIGHT HELP in the right place
- Help keep you, your family and friends SAFE by avoiding too many people being in the waiting room
- Help you be seen in an agreed time slot
If you have a dental issue during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important that you know how to access help when you need it. All dental practices in Greater Manchester are now open and have resumed face-to-face care, although many are working at reduced capacity and may not yet be able to offer the full range of services due to increased infection, prevention and control guidelines.
If you need dental help or advice, please contact your dental practice over the phone first, rather than in person. You will be assessed over the phone and may be given advice, medication or a face to face appointment if needed.
If you don’t have a usual dentist and have an urgent need you can call your local dental helpline: 0333 332 3800. You will be assessed and given advice over the phone, which may result in a remote consultation with a dentist or a face to face appointment. For more details CLICK HERE.
For free and confidential advice and guidance on where to get the right medical help you can contact NHS 111 at any time of day. You can telephone 111 or use your smartphone, laptop or digital device to go online to 111.nhs.uk. The online service is not available for advice for children under 5.
Accident and Emergency
Accident and Emergency (A&E) is for hospital attention due to serious illness or injury only. Visit A&E if it’s a serious or life threatening situation. An emergency might include:
- Severe chest pain
- Suspected heart attack or stroke
- Suspected meningitis
- Suspected broken bones
- Breathing difficulties
- Sudden and severe headaches
- Severe burns
- Severe injuries requiring hospital treatment
The rule is simple. Call 999 for an ambulance, or take someone straight to A&E if it is an emergency or life threatening situation.
A&E should only be used in extreme circumstances. Many people visit A&E when they could have received the advice and help they needed from their Pharmacist, GP or Urgent Treatment Centre (including walk-in access)
If you access A&E inappropriately, you may be turned away and directed to another NHS service.