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Make the Right Call: New campaign to help you find the medical services you need this summer

Pharmacists, 111, and your local surgery are all available to deal with medical issues

Pharmacists, 111, and your local surgery are all available to deal with medical issues

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Today we are launching a major new campaign to help people make the right decision when it comes to healthcare.

Entitled Make the Right Call, the 12-week campaign sees this newspaper join forces with four local health care providers to encourage people to make the right choice during the summer – traditionally the busiest time of year for the emergency departments at our hospitals.

We are working with the Ipswich and West Suffolk hospitals, NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk and NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and NHS 111 provider, Harmoni, which is now part of Care UK.

Our aim is to help relieve some of the pressures on Ipswich and West Suffolk’s emergency departments by pointing people towards other services - whether that is self-caring at home with a well-stocked medicine cabinet, seeking advice from a pharmacist, visiting your GP or calling NHS 111.

Dr Mark Shenton, chairman of the NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk CCG, said: “We are delighted to be working with the East Anglian Daily Times, Ipswich Star and our other healthcare partners to raise awareness of the range of NHS services available to local people.

“This 12-week campaign seeks to highlight the alternatives to using A&E and encourage people to consider the other options available to them.”

Dr Christopher Browning, chairman of the NHS West Suffolk CCG, added: “This campaign will help people navigate the local healthcare system and choose the right option for their needs.

“Making the right choice will mean getting the fastest treatment in the most appropriate location.”

Only last week, this newspaper reported Ipswich Hospital’s emergency department was seeing an extra 60 patients a day compared to four years ago.

Nick Hulme, chief executive of Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust, said: “This is a great initiative which we are really pleased to be a part of along with all our partners in healthcare in Suffolk.”

His counterpart at West Suffolk Hospital, Stephen Graves added: “Choosing the right place for help with health problems will ensure you receive the fastest, most effective treatment while also keeping hospital staff free to care for those in the greatest need.

“We hope that this campaign will play an important role in helping explain more about all of the healthcare options available in Suffolk, which include NHS 111, pharmacies, GPs and hospitals, so that people can make the best choice for them when they are unwell.”

James Waites, regional head of operations for Care UK which provides NHS 111, said the campaign will highlight the urgent healthcare options available in Suffolk.

“If it’s not an emergency situation, calling NHS 111 for urgent health advice will direct patients to the most appropriate place for their healthcare need, and we are keen to get that message across,” he added.

“Our patient surveys show more than half of those who called NHS 111 would have contacted 999 or A&E had 111 not been available, and we want to continue to support Suffolk’s healthcare economy by raising awareness of the NHS 111 service.”

Terry Hunt, EADT editor, said: “Since the restructure of the health service locally last year, there has been some confusion over what is the correct pathway for health care. The result, all too often, is that people will go to the emergency Departments at our hospitals. In quite a number of cases, this is not the most appropriate place for the patient to go, and this leads to too much pressure being placed on our vitally important casualty departments.

“We hope that our Make the Right Call campaign will help people to understand all the options which are available to them and will help more people to make the correct choice for their care.”

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