Use the right NHS services this winter

3 January 2018

With the festive holidays now over, Devon’s health professionals are reminding people about the range of NHS services available.

Winter is traditionally demanding for the NHS, so it is important that patients choose the best help for them, getting information or treatment in the quickest time possible.

While the NHS 111 helpline was open during the festivities, proving popular among the public, GP practices and some pharmacies were closed for the bank holidays, but this week they are available as usual.

Other services available include minor injuries units (MIU), walk-in centres and the NHS 111 helpline. Staff at the MIUs will examine minor ailments and injuries, and can determine if an x-ray is required.

And if people want to know which services are available with the shortest possible wait, they can download the NHSquicker app from iTunes or Google Play.

Dr Shelagh McCormick, a Devon GP, said: “Christmas and New Year is always a busy time, with high numbers of patients using NHS services.

“But winter brings its own pressures and, with numbers of flu cases rising and lots of coughs and colds about, it’s important that people get the very best out of the NHS.

“People with minor ailments have a wide range of options, including visiting an MIU or phoning 111. Some people may wish to book an appointment to see a GP or visit a pharmacy.

“Pharmacists are highly trained and skilled professionals, offering a range of very accessible health services – including medication for complaints such as fevers, coughs, colds, aches and pains, as well as year-round health issues such as healthy eating, sexual health and giving up smoking.

“Pharmacists will be really happy to provide a wide range of advice, and an appointment is not needed.”

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