HEALTH AND CARE: Where to go to get advice or treatment

Make sure you know what options are available this half-term
Make sure you know what options are available this half-term

As children across Coastal West Sussex get ready to enjoy their half-term at the end of May, we wanted to take this opportunity to remind everyone about the range of health services available if you, or your family, do become unwell or injured.

As the weather starts to warm up it is natural for children and young people to be out and about, playing and seeing friends – and often, during this time, accidents and injuries can occur.

Knowing where to go to get advice, medication or treatment can be confusing, especially if you are upset, and just want to be treated, or help someone you love to get the treatment they need.

So, when should you go to your pharmacy for advice, treatments or medication that doesn’t need a prescription? When should you go to your local GP practice? And when should you go to A&E?

Pharmacists can help with minor injuries and illnesses. They do a lot more than just dispense prescription medication; they can provide advice on how best to care for you and your loved ones, and help you decide whether you need further medical help, often saving you from making a lengthy trip.

You don’t have to book an appointment with a pharmacist and many are open evenings and weekends across our area, to provide help when other services may be closed.

There will also be times when it is right to go to your GP local practice for help.

If you aren’t sure where to go, the best thing to do is call 111.

The NHS service is free and is a fast way to get the right help, whatever the time.

There are trained NHS advisors available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and calls are free from landlines and mobiles.

The team at NHS 111 will be able to give you advice or direct you to a local service that can help you best, and make sure you receive the right treatment in the right place.

They can also access the GP out of hours service and emergency dentists.

What is key to remember is that A&E is for serious, life threatening injuries and illnesses; conditions such as stroke, severe chest pain, heavy bleeding and serious burns.

Sometimes people go to A&E when they could be treated more appropriately by a different NHS service, but by choosing not to go to A&E when you could be seen elsewhere can ensure the skilled A&E teams are able to focus on those that need their help most.

We truly hope that no-one needs urgent care this half-term but if you do, think about all the places that can help you, and if you aren’t sure where to go, simply call 111.

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