This year, we’re asking patients to only use A&E if they really need to.
Before you come to A&E, ask yourself: is it really an emergency or can I be treated elsewhere?
We need to be able to care for patients when they need it most, and to do this you can help us in a number of ways as explained in this film.
So before you come to A&E ask yourself can you …
Looking after yourself is the first step to helping us as most everyday health problems can be managed at home.
With self-care, you can take control and hopefully start to feel better quicker.
It’s a good idea to have a fully stocked medicine cabinet (Find the essentials you should have at home here
And remember, if you take regular medication, please order your repeat prescription in good time
But what if you feel you need some advice before you are able to self-care? For instance, if you’re not sure if your condition is minor, or one that goes away of its own accord, i.e. a virus, or if you just want advice on how to relieve the symptoms.
The good news is, your local pharmacist can help you.
See your local pharmacist
Local pharmacies provide NHS services in the same way as GP practices – and pharmacists train for five years in the use of medicines before they qualify as health professionals. What’s more, it’s a walk-in service, open all day.
A pharmacist will assess symptoms and consider any long-term conditions, and the medicines that you’re taking, before providing a recommendation. They will either:
• Support/advise you in your decision to self-care.
• Sell you an ‘over the counter’ medicine (which doesn’t need a prescription or visit to a GP) that will help relieve symptoms and make you more comfortable.
• Signpost you to the right medical care if you need it.
This help and advice is available at over 11,000 local pharmacies, without any appointment being needed, within your local area, and often into the evenings.
If you’re unsure about which conditions you should be managing yourself, or how to manage them, see your local pharmacist.
to see your local pharmacy addresses and opening times.
111 is the NHS non-emergency free number. Call 111 to speak to a highly trained advisor supported by healthcare professionals. You can also use www.111.nhs.uk
Click here to find out more about 111 and when to use it.
Book an appointment with your GP
Many GP practices are now open 6 days a week and have appointments available in the evenings and weekends. Please visit your GP for advice before you attend urgent care.
Visit your local Walk-in Centre or Urgent Care Centre
Walk-in /Urgent Care Centres can treat sprains, infections, burns or scalds; cuts and wounds and suspected simple fractures. You’ll never need an appointment and waiting times are always shorter than A&E.
We have a number of these services in St Helens, Knowsley and Halton Click here (link to Walk-in Centre page) for your nearest Walk-in /Urgent Care Centre addresses and opening times.
Home for Lunch
No one wants to be in hospital for longer than they need to be, and once a patient no longer needs hospital care, it is important that they can return home or to a temporary place of care in a timely, well-planned way.
Our staff work hard to ensure everything is ready for when a patient is well enough to leave. But in many cases we can’t get our patients home for lunch without your help. We need relatives or carers to make arrangements for their loved ones to be collected from hospital as soon as they are discharged, rather than later in the day or in the evening.
Home for Lunch is about doing what’s best for both the patient and our hospitals.
• Leaving hospital earlier in the day is safer and more convenient for patients and families
• Shops, pharmacies and other services are open should patients need them
• Public transport is more readily available
• Reduces unnecessary delays within the hospital
• Helps us to free up beds so we can start treating more seriously ill patients.
Home for lunch better for patients, better for staff, better for us all!
Help us to keep our emergency services free for those who need them most. Let’s do it together.