Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) is encouraging people across Yorkshire and the Humber to make sure they choose the right NHS service to get the right treatment.
The number of people attending A&E and calling 999 for an ambulance is growing each year. Ambulance services, hospitals and GP surgeries get especially busy during winter. Choosing the right service best suited to your illness or injury will relieve the pressure on A&E, GPs and ambulance services.
You should only call 999 for a serious or life-threatening emergency. If it is not a serious or life-threatening situation, you should consider other options available to you such as:
- Self care - A range of common illnesses and injuries can be treated at home by combining a well-stocked medicine cabinet with plenty of rest. This is the best choice for very minor illnesses and injuries.
- NHS Direct - NHS Direct provides confidential health advice and information by phone, through digital TV and online, 24 hours a day seven days a week. It is a good way for you to ensure that you get expert advice in the shortest possible time. You can contact NHS Direct day and night on 0845 46 47.
- Pharmacist - Your local pharmacist can give you advice on illnesses and the medicines you need to treat them. Visit a pharmacist when you are suffering from a common health problem which does not require being seen by a nurse or doctor.
- GP - GP surgeries provide a range of services by appointment, including medical advice, examinations and prescriptions. In an emergency, a GP can also visit your home outside of opening hours by contacting your local surgery and following the recorded instructions.
- NHS walk-in centre, urgent care centre or minor injuries unit - You do not need an appointment and you will be seen by an experienced nurse or GP. These services give healthcare advice and most are open from early morning until late at night. Visit one of these centres if you need medical treatment or advice which does not need a visit to A&E or a medical appointment.
- A&E or 999 - A&E or calling 999 should only be used in a critical or life-threatening situation when someone is seriously ill or injured.