The NHS in Gloucestershire is this week (16 November) launching its winter campaign and asking people to think twice before heading to A&E or calling 999 when it’s not an emergency.
The campaign visuals under the banner ‘Some people really need A&E, Do you?’ gives members of the public clear advice on what to do if they are ill or injured and not sure where to turn.
Mark Pietroni, Consultant in Emergency Care at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said:
“Our emergency departments are very busy places, particularly during the winter months, and therefore we urge the public to do the right thing and only use A&E if they have life threatening conditions or serious injuries.
If it isn’t a genuine emergency, you are highly likely to receive the care you need in a more timely way if you access other health services available. We need to focus our time on those patients who are seriously unwell.
The campaign message is clear with four simple ways to get instant advice on the right care or service option for you if you are not sure where to turn.”
The campaign advises people to download the App (ASAP Glos NHS), Search the ASAP website (www.asapglos.nhs.uk), Ask NHS 111 (give them a call) or pop in to their local Pharmacy.
The ASAP App and website allow users to ‘Search by Service’ or ‘Search by Condition’, with a step-by-step guide through symptoms, self-care advice and signposting to the appropriate NHS service/s if needed.
Dr Andy Seymour, Clinical Chair at NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group said:
“The choice of healthcare options is often greater than people realise, particularly for non-emergencies. Your local pharmacy is a great first port of call if you are ill or injured and are unsure where to turn.
Also working together, many GP practices are now offering extra appointments in the day time and outside normal opening hours and community hospital minor injury and illness units offer a range of services to adults and children, 7 days a week.
This campaign, which will be running across a number of channels, is about helping people to access the right health advice when they need it most.”
Dr Caroline Bennet, Urgent Care Lead at NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group said:
“We know that many people are following the campaign’s call to action, but we need everyone to use NHS services responsibly.
If your condition isn’t a genuine emergency and you turn up at A&E, you are likely to wait longer to be seen, could delay more poorly patients from receiving the care they need and also waste precious NHS resources.”
The high profile campaign includes a film featuring in Facebook adverts and in GP surgery waiting areas, radio, press and on-line adverts, distribution of eye catching promotional material and outdoor advertising.