HEALTH AND CARE: People called to HelpMyNHS this winter

The campaign aims to help people become aware of all the services available, so they can get the right care
The campaign aims to help people become aware of all the services available, so they can get the right care

Local people are being called to help the NHS provide the best possible care this winter.

The local NHS has launched a new campaign this week to raise awareness of the services available to ensure people are getting the right care at the right time and help NHS services to provide care to those that need it most.

Winter is expected to be extremely difficult for the NHS, especially on A&E departments and GP practices, as they cope with increasing numbers of people seeking treatment.

This could potentially be made worse by people using certain services when they could have been treated more appropriately elsewhere or could have treated themselves at home.

Nationally, one in four people are reported to go to A&E when they could have been treated elsewhere.

Additionally, one in four people who visit their GP with a minor illness could have been treated at home with the help of a pharmacist.

The local NHS has launched a campaign to help people become aware of all the services available, so they can get the right care and make sure essential emergency and GP services are available for those most in need.

#HelpMyNHS calls on the public to play their part by adopting small behavioural changes to ease pressures on local health and care services, saving them for those in the most need. We are asking people to:

• #HelpMyA&E by knowing the alternative services to A&E and when they are available;

• #HelpMyGP by using of GP appointments properly, taking steps to help prevent getting ill and self-manage minor illnesses, and to use alternative services when appropriate, such as local pharmacists.

Everyone can play an important role in recognising, treating and managing their own health conditions, reducing the need for an unnecessary GP appointment.

The campaign is encouraging people to only go to A&E if they need immediate, emergency care and have symptoms of serious illness or injuries that could be life threatening.

We have also found one of the main reasons services aren’t being used properly is a lack of awareness of the other services outside of GP appointments and A&E when there are fantastic alternatives that offer quicker treatment closer to home.

A dedicated campaign website – www.sussexhelpmy.nhs.uk – highlights the alternatives to A&E visits or GP appointments, and lists all of the services available across Sussex.

Let’s all work together and #HelpMyNHS this winter.