Don't go to casualty if you have a cold...

Swindon Advertiser: Choose the best place to receive health care this winter Choose the best place to receive health care this winter

GPs from the NHS Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group are stressing the importance of people choosing the most appropriate care for their winter ailments.

There is often increased pressure on the NHS at this time of the year and it faces considerable challenges despite local and national planning.

A rise is evident in the number of people going to hospital as an emergency due to the cold weather and contagious viruses.

This affects those with breathing conditions in particular.

Elderly and vulnerable patients are the most likely to be affected.

Those over age 75 have more than an 80 per cent chance of needing to be admitted to A&E.

However, for someone under the age of 30, they have less than a 20 per cent likelihood of having to go to A&E.

A campaign ‘Choose Well This Winter’ has been launched this week by the Clinical Commissioning Group to help people choose the best method of treatment.

The campaign displays the range of care options available to reduce unnecessary attendances at A&E departments.

Dr Toby Davies, a Wiltshire GP and a director of Wiltshire CCG Governing Body, said: “There are times when people genuinely need to attend A&E because their condition is serious or life-threatening.

“However when it’s a simple cough or cold, upset stomach or something like a sprained limb, we really need people to find the most appropriate way to treat that ailment.

“Going to A&E isn’t the right place for minor illnesses.

“But your GP, NHS 111 phoneline or your local chemist will be able to help.

Also it’s not too late for people with underlying health problems to get a flu jab if they have not had one so far, as flu in the vulnerable is a preventable problem. “In addition, as the weather turns colder, people can help elderly and frail neighbours or friends if they are feeling unwell and advise them to seek early help,” said Toby.

As Christmas approaches, if you feel unwell, don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice And look out for the ‘Choose Well This Winter’ information in your GP surgery, on the CCG website and in council offices and libraries. You can also contact the clinical commissioning group for copies of the information by calling 01380 733766 or emailing WCCG.info@nhs.net.

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