Ipswich: Giant yellow figures point people to right destination for healthcare
PUBLISHED: 18:29 27 April 2014
Health bosses have launched a campaign to try to stop people visiting A&E unless it is for a serious emergency.
Twelve 7ft yellow figures were used to bring the message to Ipswich as part of NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG) campaign to raise awareness of other NHS services available.
The figures, which are inspired by the sculpture of Antony Gormley, depicted different types of common ailments including diarrhoea, vomiting and backache.
Dr Mark Shenton, a GP in Stowmarket and chairman of the Ipswich and East Suffolk CCG, said: “Recent figures have estimated that around 40% of people attending A&E didn’t need to be there and could have been better treated elsewhere. The yellow figures highlight the alternative ways that people can treat medical conditions by self-caring, asking advice from their pharmacist, making a GP appointment or by calling NHS 111.
“We want people to be aware that there are quicker alternatives to A&E treatment for non-emergency medical conditions. By choosing the right method of treatment this will also lessen the pressure on A&E staff who are busy saving people’s lives.
“The yellow figures are a great way to raise awareness of the health care options that are available and the friendly campaign staff are there to help you.”
Options for non-emergency treatment include self-care from a well-stocked medicine cabinet at home, pharmacies, NHS 111 and GP surgeries.
Annie Topping, chief executive of health watchdog Healthwatch Suffolk, said: “We know that approximately 18% of people admit to having knowingly used A&E for a non-emergency at some point in their lives.
“Healthwatch Suffolk therefore welcomes any initiative to signpost people to appropriate services. After all, better use of services means that people are receiving the right care in the right places.
“Our work with the clinical commissioning groups to review our local health and social care system means that we can help to deliver plans for future services that support people to be healthy in their own community and reduce reliance on existing services that are intended for other services.”
The yellow figures will also be in The Triangle, Felixstowe, on Wednesday, The Meadow Centre in Stowmarket on May 1 and outside Woodbridge Town Hall on May 2 from 8.30am-4.30pm.