Recognising patients are often confused about where to go when they feel unwell during evening and weekends when their GP practice is closed, the CCG is launching a campaign to help patients make the right choice.
We know sometimes people go to A&E for things that really they should see their doctor or pharmacist for, and this puts pressure on the system. We want people to know what to do to help themselves and the NHS.
The campaign will promote clear messages about what to do and where to go if unwell at all times of the day.
Key messages that you can help us promote
1. What is the issue?
When people feel unwell and need to be seen that day but their GP practice is closed we know people are confused about what services are available and how to access them. A&E is only for life threatening emergencies and going there with ailments that your doctor can treat puts pressure on the system. We want people to know what to do to help themselves and the NHS.
2. If patients think they have a same day health need what do they do?
Always think GP practice first if you feel unwell. GP practices are open 8am – 6pm Monday to Friday. If you need to be seen that day you’ll be offered an appointment either at your own GP practice or a ‘hub’. A hub is a group of neighbouring GP practices working together to provide extra patient appointments.
If your need health need is outside of GP practice hours, ring NHS 111. They will offer advice and book you into a hub appointment or other appropriate service based on your clinical need.
3. What happens when you call NHS 111?
You will speak to a trained health adviser from the NHS 111 team. They will ask questions to find out what medical help you need. They can give advice, book appointments at GP practices, hubs, urgent treatment centres or even transfer your call so you can speak directly to a GP or clinician.
Transport an issue?
Throughout the recent consultation lack of transport was raised as a concern, especially for people who had a long distance to travel. DDES CCG listened to the concerns and acted by removing the requirement for people to have a clinical need to receive NHS funded transport to and from hub appointments. This means if you have been assessed as needing a same day appointment and have been booked into one of the hubs, we can organise return transport for you.