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Feeling unwell? ‘Choose Well’ this winter to get the best care for you

07 December 2015

In the busy approach to Christmas, Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust is reminding everyone to ‘Choose Well’ when feeling unwell to reduce pressure on the service as demand increases.

The Trust has issued information on where to go when you need medical help or advice that does not require an emergency ambulance as part of its winter Choose Well campaign.

A dedicated page on the service’s website provides details of local walk-in centres and minor injuries units across the Yorkshire and the Humber region, in addition to the NHS 111 service provided by the Trust - www.yas.nhs.uk/choosewell

Dr David Macklin, Executive Director of Operations at Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, says demand for the 999 service has been increasing year on year and is expected to remain high over the next few weeks due to ill health exacerbated by winter weather and people celebrating the up-and-coming festivities.

He said: “The winter months are always challenging for us, particularly in December when the weather conditions can be difficult and many people are rushing about making their Christmas preparations. We will always respond to patients needing time-critical medical assistance, but it’s fair to say that on numerous occasions our staff are caught up dealing with patients whose needs are less urgent. This means that emergency ambulances can be diverted away from patients with potentially very serious conditions and who need vital treatment.

“Please think carefully before you pick up your phone to dial 999 and only call for an ambulance in an emergency when it is obvious that you or another person has a serious or life-threatening illness or injury and needs time-critical help. People suffering from minor illnesses and injuries should consider more appropriate services for their needs such as visiting their local pharmacist or GP, attending a walk-in-centre or minor injuries unit or calling NHS 111.

“Whilst many people do use our emergency service appropriately, some callers do need to be reminded about the importance of making the right choice about their healthcare needs and the NHS Choices website provides helpful information and advice on many common conditions, treatments and local services – www.nhs.uk

The Choose Well campaign is designed to signpost people to the most suitable care for their situation and we encourage the people of Yorkshire and the Humber to familiarise themselves with this information, all of which is available on the Trust’s website.

Leaflets designed for each Yorkshire region are available to download on the website as well as links to finding your local pharmacy or GP.  NHS 111 also provides help in non-life-threatening situations and details are also available at: http://www.yas.nhs.uk/Calling999/Choose_Well.html

Produced By: Corporate Communications Department