New campaign for NHS choice

A new campaign is being rolled out in Suffolk today to encourage people to choose the right medical care.

SUFFOLK: A new campaign is being rolled out in Suffolk today to encourage people to choose the right medical care.

The campaign, Choose Well, is designed to alleviate pressure on the NHS by ensuring that those who feel unwell choose the right health service.

People can either treat minor injuries or illness themselves, call NHS Direct for health queries and information about local services, go to pharmacies for the treatment of common winter illness and the best medicines to use or visit their GP for medical advice, examinations or illnesses that require prescriptions. They can also go to NHS walk-in centres for treating minor illness and injuries, or hospital accident and emergency departments for serious illness and injuries.

Buses in Suffolk are already displaying eye-catching posters to get the message out there, and printed information is being distributed to public places across the county.

Sandie Robinson, who plans and manages the commissioning of emergency healthcare services at NHS Suffolk, said: “Pressures on local health services will inevitably begin to increase as the winter arrives. Many inappropriate calls are made to 999 and unnecessary trips are taken to accident and emergency - which is something we want to avoid happening this year.

“We want to ensure people choose the right service for their needs, and that emergency services are freed-up to treat people who really do have an emergency.”

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“Some patients may not realise that their symptoms could be treated by other NHS services. Choose Well helps people understand

As well as getting free and confidential health advice from their pharmacists, people can also refer to the NHS website, www.nhs.uk to check their symptoms or phone NHS Direct on 0845 4647 at any time of the day or night.

What is your experience of health services? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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