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 Accident and Emergency (A&E) when they could have received the help that they needed from their Pharmacist, GP or our Urgent Treatment Centre (including walk-in access)
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
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.
Contact your GP
You should contact your GP if you or a family member has a condition that you or your pharmacist cannot treat.
Urgent Treatment (including walk in)
If you have a condition that needs prompt medical help to avoid it deteriorating, but is not life-threatening, then the new and enhanced urgent treatment centre (including walk-in access) and primary care access service is there to help you.
The Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC)/walk in centre next to A&E at Tameside Hospital is open 9am to 9pm seven days a week for conditions that require prompt medical help.
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.
If you experience toothache, try to relieve the problem with painkillers in the first instance. If the problem persists then you should make an appointment to see your dentist. If you do not have a dentist, you can access dental services by ringing: 0161 476 9649 and someone will be able to make you an appointment for routine or urgent care. Urgent care advice at weekends and outside normal surgery hours (6.30pm to 8am) is available by calling: 0161 337 2246.
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.