‘Help yourself before visiting A&E’, advises Somerset GP

As reported by the Somerset Country Gazette, local GPs are handing out advice for patients about helping themselves before spending time in A&E and slowing down the hospital system

Primary healthcare professionals are advising patients in Somerset to try helping themselves before spending time in A&E unnecessarily.

Dr Ed Ford, GP and chairman of Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Remember, you can help yourself and the NHS when you get the right treatment for your level of illness or injury.

“If you only have a minor illness or ailments then visit your local pharmacist.

“They can help with expert advice and over-the-counter remedies.

“If you need urgent medical advice but it is not a life threatening emergency then telephone NHS 111.

“Their call handlers can advise you anything from where to find an emergency dentist to getting you an out-of-hour’s doctor and if you are eligible and have not yet had you winter flu vaccination, please get one.”

Ford and other local GPs suggest that patients should receive their flu vaccination if they are over 65, a child or an adult with a long-term health condition.

They also advise that patients keep simple, over-the-counter first aid items in their home, and that pharmacists are trained in minor medical issues and can help choose the correct tools.

People in Somerset – and beyond – should also be taking advantage of the out-of-hours GP services now available across the country.

Where necessary, patients should call 111 for advice.

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