DOCTORS and NHS Leaders are urging people in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin to think about the right place to go to get the most appropriate support if they find themselves in need of healthcare services over the coming Bank Holiday Weekend.
The May Day Bank Holiday is traditionally a busy time for local NHS services and there is likely to be significant pressure on the ambulance services and accident and emergency department in Shrewsbury in Telford
Dr Mike Innes, Chair of Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) – the organisation responsible for buying healthcare services in the area – said: “It’s important people have all the information to navigate the various healthcare options available and make the choice that gets them the most appropriate care in the most efficient manner.
“In order to avoid unnecessary trips to A&E people should know when and how they can best care for themselves, what services they can find at their local pharmacy or GP and when and where their nearest minor injuries unit or walk in centres are open and what care they can get there.
“If you are not sure what sort of help you need, you can speak to clinically trained staff by calling NHS 111 or out of hours you can call ShropDoc on 0844 406 8888. By calling 111 or ShropDoc you will get professional advice to get you to the most appropriate care quickly and easily and may help you avoid a trip to A&E.”
Additionally the Choose Well website at www.choosewellmidlands.nhs.uk is full of advice on how to make the best choices for you and your family when accessing healthcare services.
Dr Bill Gowans, Vice Chair of Shropshire CCG, said: “There are a number of conditions people visit their GP with that could be just as easily and efficiently treated at home.
“Self-care is the most effective option when you have flu or a cold, which can’t be treated by antibiotics, but will respond to bed rest, drinking plenty of fluids and some over-the-counter medications,” he said. “Other conditions that can be managed at home include indigestion, headaches, migraines, skin complaints like dermatitis, back pains and coughs that don’t persist over time.
“Pharmacists are clinically trained and can offer a number of services over and above supplying your prescription,” said Dr Gowans. “They’re often the best, first port of call, and can treat bugs and viruses, skin conditions, allergies, and many minor injuries or ailments.
“Book an appointment with your GP if you’ve had a persistent cough or a painful sore throat for several days, recurring headaches, if you’re stressed, depressed or anxious, have a bite that becomes more itchy, red or swollen after time or if you are losing weight and are not sure why.
“Minor Injuries Units, are run by qualified nurses and treat a wide range of non-life-threatening conditions including bites, cuts and lacerations, fractures that require plaster, minor burns and scalds, minor head injuries, sprains, strains and bruises and wound infections,” said Dr Gowans. “Alternatively there is a GP-led walk in centre based at the Royals Shrewsbury Hospital open 8.00am until 8.00pm 365 days a year.”
A complete list of opening times for pharmacies in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin can be found here.
Opening hours and further details for the Minor Injuries Units at Bridgnoth Community Hospital, Ludlow Community Hospital, Oswestry Health Centre and Whitchurch Community Hospital can be found here.
More details on the Shropshire Walk-in Centre based at the Urgent Care Centre on the site of the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, can be found here.