Choose the right service over Christmas and New Year
People in Worcestershire looking to enjoy Christmas and New Year with their friends and families are being encouraged to choose the right NHS service should they become injured or unwell.
Some health services across the county, including GP Practices will have limited opening times over the festive period, so it’s important to plan ahead and know what health service options are available.
Emergency departments can be extremely busy at this time of year, so patients are urged to remember that A&E is for life threatening accidents and emergencies only and there are a number of other health services available to help people over the festive period.
Many minor complaints such as coughs and colds can be treated by staying at home, getting plenty of rest and making sure you have a well-stocked medicine cabinet.
Your local pharmacist can give expert, confidential advice or medicines for minor ailments such as coughs and colds, tummy troubles and much more. There are Pharmacies open most days over the Christmas and New Year period, so make sure you check out your local pharmacy opening times, these are available on any of the three CCG websites.
You can call 111, the free NHS Service, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for fast medical advice when it's not an emergency. This can include arranging an out-of-hours GP appointment.
Minor Injury Units (MIUs) offer fast, convenient and expert care for minor conditions including cuts, grazes, sprains and burns.
There are five MIUs across Worcestershire:
- Bromsgrove - Princess of Wales Community Hospital, Stourbridge Road, Bromsgrove, B61 0BB, open 8am-8pm Monday-Friday and 12pm-8pm Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays
- Evesham - Evesham Community Hospital, Waterside, Evesham, WR11 1JT, open 9am-9pm
- Kidderminster – Kidderminster Hospital, Bewdley Road, Kidderminster, DY11 6RJ, open 24 hours a day
- Malvern - Malvern Community Hospital, 185 Worcester Road, WR14 1EX, open 9am-9pm
- Tenbury – Tenbury Community Hospital, Worcester Road, Tenbury Wells, WR15 8AP, open 9am-9pm.
To get more information, you can find A&E and Minor Injuries Unit waiting times on the Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust website www.worcsacute.nhs.uk/waiting.
“A&E departments are often seen as the first place that people go, when in fact there are other NHS services that may be more suitable and can treat you faster, such as a local pharmacy, GP Practice or Minor Injury Unit.
“When your local GP Surgery is not open, you can call 111, which is a free NHS Service and can quickly direct you to the right health service, including out of hours GP appointments. Pharmacists can also help with a range of common conditions and minor injuries, and many are open until late and at weekends.
“Staff in A&E Departments will be working hard over the Christmas and New Year Period to provide care 24 hours a day. Please help us ensure that we protect these vital services for those people who unfortunately experience a serious accident or emergency and only visit A&E if you have an emergency that cannot be managed through one of the other services available across the county.”
For more hints and tips about staying well this winter visit www.nhs.uk/staywell.