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    Get the Right Treatment in the Right Place

    LOCAL people are being urged to get the right treatment in the right place when they are feeling unwell or have a minor health or urgent non-life-threatening medical condition.
    Anyone unwell and unsure where to go for treatment can ring 111 for free from a landline or mobile phone.  They can also go online at 111.nhs.uk or nhs.uk (for people aged 5 and over only).  Alternative access to NHS 111, if anyone has difficulties communicating or hearing, is available by calling 18001 111 using the Relay UK app on their smartphone, tablet or computer, or via a traditional textphone, or use the NHS 111 British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter service if they are deaf and want to use the phone service.
    NHS 111 is available to make it easier and quicker for patients to get the right advice or treatment they need, be that for their physical or mental health, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Clinicians, such as nurses, doctors, pharmacists and paramedics, now play an important role in NHS 111 giving patients the advice they need without using another service, such as their GP or A&E. 
    Many people can manage minor health concerns themselves very successfully with advice either from NHS 111 or by visiting a Pharmacy for treatment advice.  Pharmacies can help with cold and flu symptoms, stomach upsets, sore throats, backache, minor sports injuries, skin conditions and allergies. They can also provide further advice tips around self-care.
    For minor eye complaints, a local Optician may be able to help
    If a pharmacist or optician cannot treat, people should contact their GP practice or if they have not already done so get in touch with NHS 111.
    GP practices are open to treat patients and can arrange appointments in the neighbourhood hubs outside of typical working hours in the Primary Care Access Service (PCAS).  There are a range of professions in practices who can carry out assessments and provide advice or treatment for persistent coughs (over 10 days), severe headaches, earache, backache, sprains, minor injuries, and other concerning symptoms.   Practices want patients to feel reassured that they will be able to get an appointment and see the most appropriate profession including a GP if necessary.  From April 2020 to March 2021 they have delivered 1,091,062 appointments, this includes 563,286 (or 51.6%) face to face appointment and 19,096 home visits. 
    If someone has an urgent but non-life-threatening medical condition they should get in contact with NHS 111 as they are able to book an appointment to be seen in the best possible service.  This may be close to home – the PCAS offers patients an appointment at one of five neighbourhood hubs in Tameside and Glossop, a pharmacy or another more appropriate local service, or may be at A&E, an urgent treatment centre or emergency dental services.  NHS 111 can also send an ambulance should a patient’s condition be serious or life-threatening. 
    Dr Asad Ali, Co-Chair at NHS Tameside and Glossop Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “If you think you need A&E due to an urgent but non-life-threatening medical need, make sure you contact NHS 111 First. Trained staff will then be able to direct you to the most appropriate service to quickly and efficiently provide the treatment that you need.’   
    Trish Cavanagh, Deputy Chief Executive at Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Please only attend the Emergency Department if you have a serious illness or injury.  This will allow our clinical teams to focus on those people with potentially life-threatening conditions. We currently have a significant number of people attending for whom other types of care are available and more appropriate. Patients with the greatest clinical need will be seen ahead of others and in some instances we may re-direct people with less urgent conditions to services such as pharmacists and opticians. Please call NHS111 before attending the Emergency Department with minor illnesses.”
    Anyone with coronavirus symptoms, no matter how mild, is advised not to visit their GP practice, pharmacy or hospital.  It is important that they self-isolate for at least 10 days from when their symptoms started and get a test immediately, so that it’s within 5 days of being symptomatic. To book a test or order a home testing kit go online www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or telephone 119. 

    For more information on pharmacy, GP, emergency department, NHS 111 and other healthcare services go to: https://www.tamesideandglossopccg.org/accessingcare