‘Think before you use our services’ - NHS Hertfordshire

YOU have a headache, runny nose, cough and sore throat.

The symptoms all point towards you suffering a cold.

Do you pop into your local pharmacist and buy a pack of paracetamol or make an appointment to see your GP?

Perhaps you have twisted your ankle.

Do you spend hours in A&E or be seen and treated in a minor injuries unit?

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These are some of the questions NHS Hertfordshire want people to think about when using NHS services – such as A&E, GPs, pharmacists, urgent care centres and minor injuries units.

On Friday NHS Hertfordshire, based in Parkway, WGC, launched a campaign, focusing on a series of posters, designed to help people understand what they should do and where they should go for a range of common ailments, such as earache or a sports injury.

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Dr Jane Halpin, director of public health and deputy chief executive, said: “A significant amount of people come through A&E, half of which could be treated in other places.

“A&E is designed to help save the lives of people who are very seriously ill and people with more minor problems could be taking staff away from life-saving treatment.”

The NHS claims millions of pounds nationally could be saved each year and people would be seen and treated in less than half the time if they used the correct service.

Dr Tony Kostick, a Hertfordshire GP, said: “Urgent care centres and minor injuries units can treat a wide range of injuries from cuts and grazes to bites and broken bones.

“Asking your pharmacist to recommend an over the counter medicine for illnesses such as upset stomach, indigestion and colds will save your time and your GP’s time.”

He added: “People don’t realise how much things cost.

“It costs the NHS �90 every time someone comes to A&E who doesn’t need admitting.

“For a GP patient to attend who doesn’t need to it costs about �20 to �30 per visit.

“The campaign is not about the money, although it would be cost effective, it is about people getting the best possible service.”

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