Choose well this Christmas

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THE Christmas and New Year holiday is a time for great fun and celebration - but it is also a time when NHS services are at their busiest too.

Whether it is tripping over wrapping paper as the presents are opened - or burning yourself on the oven getting the turkey out, everyone who needs to use NHS treatment over the festive season is asked to Choose Well.

NHS Cambridgeshire is asking people to think about the services that they choose to use. Many minor injuries do not require a hospital visit - but could be better treated at home or at the local pharmacy.

Christine Macleod, Medical Director at NHS Cambridgeshire said:

“ Christmas is always a busy time in Emergency Departments. We don’t want to stop people coming into our Emergency Departments over Christmas - but we do want to remind people that they are for emergencies such as loss of consciousness, severe chest pain, breathing difficulties, serious accidents and severe bleeding.

There are a number of different NHS services available for people to use - and we would like to remind everyone to Choose Well over the festive period - and think about the most apropriate place to receive the treatment they need.

Winter does bring more coughs, colds and flu so it is a good idea to be prepared and to make sure you have a supply of remedies at home to help care for you and your family over the holiday period. If you need a regular prescription for a long term condition, please check now to make sure that you have enough to last you over the holiday season.”

Choose Well - which services are available to use in Cambridgeshire?

Self care is the best choice to treat very minor illnesses, ailments and injuries. A range of common illnesses and complaints, such as coughs and colds, sore throats, upset stomachs and aches and pains can be treated with a well stocked medicine cabinet and plenty of rest.

NHS Direct - advice is available via NHS Direct 24 hours a day by calling 0845-46-47 or visit www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk. NHS Direct provides free expert health advice and information. It is run by qualified nurses.

Pharmacies – your community pharmacists are qualified experts who can give confidential advice on common minor illnesses like coughs and colds, headaches or cystitis, as well as medicines and emergency contraception.

Minor Injuries Units are based at:

North Cambridgeshire Hospital

The Park, Wisbech, PE13 3AB

Tel 01945-488068

Opening hours: Monday-Friday 8.30am-6pm

Princess of Wales Hospital

Lynn Road, Ely, CB6 1DN

Tel 01353-656675

Opening hours Monday - Sunday, 8.30am-6pm

Doddington Community Hospital

Benwick Road, Doddington PE15 0UG

Tel 01354-644243

Opening hours: Monday- Friday 8.30-6pm; Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays 9am-5pm

GP surgery

You can call your surgery for an appointment with your GP or practice nurse. Your GP can help with vaccinations, prescriptions, medical advice and care. To find your local GP call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47.

Emergency Department

The Emergency Department should be attended if a patient experiences chest pain, blacking out and severe blood loss. The Emergency Department is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week

Dentistry

Out of hours dental care can be accessed by telephoning 01223-471798. Patients can only access services if they have telephoned the out of hours telephone line and have been triaged as being appropriate for a pre-booked appointment. Dental access centres are available in Cambridge, Huntingdon and Wisbech. To find an NHS dentist or for further information about treatment bands please visit www.nhs.uk or call 0800-2792535

Out of hours services

If your local GP surgery is closed and you have a medical need that can’t wait, whether your child has a very high temperature or you need medical attention you should telephone your normal GP surgery number.

You will be diverted automatically to the out of hours service and be put through to an emergency call handler who will take your details and pass them to a nurse/clinician. They will call you back and be able to assess your needs and advise you of what action is needed.

Depending on when your surgery closes, the out of hours services operate during the following times:

* Monday to Friday 6.30pm to 8am

* 24 hours a day on Saturdays and Sundays

* 24 hours a day during Bank Holiday periods

For more information on how to Choose well and access NHS services wisely please visit www.cambridgeshire.nhs.uk