There are a range of alternative options available for non-emergency situations to ensure you get the appropriate care you need, and save an unnecessary trip to the Emergency Department.
· Self-care is the best choice for minor illnesses and injuries – a range of common winter ailments can be treated at home with a well-stocked medicine cabinet. Having a winter plan – such as keeping stocked up on medicines, keeping your home warm, and looking out for neighbours – can also be beneficial.
· Local pharmacies can give advice on several conditions, such as coughs, headaches, upset stomachs and skin conditions, as well as advise on stopping coughs and colds from getting worse.
· NHS 111 has call handlers who can help you choose the right health services for your needs, as well as a website. NHS 111 can put you in touch with a clinician, a GP, book you an appointment at your nearest minor injuries unit. You can also use NHS 111 online 111.nhs.uk
· Minor injuries units can treat deep cuts, small burns, sprains, sports injuries, and infected wounds. To find out your nearest MIU please visit the Oxford Health website
· Your local GP may offer extended opening hours into the evening or at the weekend.
Most importantly, only attend Emergency Departments when there is a genuine emergency, such as loss of consciousness, suspected heart attack or stroke, severe breathing difficulties, or severe bleeding that cannot be stopped.
For more information see here