Don’t spend your Christmas holidays waiting in A&E

Make sure you know how to access help this Christmas season. Pressures on local health services increase over the winter as more people get sick at this time of year. The advice from the NHS in Telford and Wrekin is to make the most of other services such as NHS 111 and local pharmacists, and to make sure they’re all stocked up for the winter season.

Dr Jo Leahy, Local GP and Chair of Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “Increased pressures over the Christmas season often lead to longer waiting times at A&E and GP surgeries. Instead of spending your Christmas in a waiting room, you could call NHS 111 for advice.

“NHS 111 is a free helpline provided by the NHS which is operated by fully trained advisers 24 hours a day, seven days a week. After you have described your symptoms, they will give you advice on how to manage your symptoms yourself, where to go for help or, if appropriate, will direct your call to the right health care professional, such as a nurse, doctor or dentist. The new NHS 111 app can also give the same support through your mobile, computer or tablet.”

Dr Jo Leahy added: “If you have any mobility issues or are having trouble getting out and about because of your illness, the NHS 111 service means you can get help from the comfort of your own home. Also, by getting advice over the phone or internet instead of going out into the community, you will limit the spread of germs to vulnerable people.

“Don't forget your local pharmacist – they are clinically trained experts who give professional advice on a wide range of treatments. They also stock a variety of over-the-counter remedies for things like coughs, colds, sore throats and upset stomachs. It’s free and friendly advice, and you don’t need an appointment – some pharmacies also have private consultation rooms.”

Telford and Wrekin pharmacy opening times over the Christmas and New Year 2018/19 can be found by clicking here.

By taking advantage of all the resources available for health advice, you can make the best use of your time over the holiday season.

You can access the NHS 111 app via