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Home > News > North Cumbria's hospital trust supports national 'the earlier, the better' campaign

North Cumbria's hospital trust supports national 'the earlier, the better' campaign

Posted on Tuesday 21st January 2014
the earlier the better campaign

North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust is supporting NHS England’s national campaign which is encouraging people to seek help and advice early on if they’re feeling unwell.

‘The earlier, the better’ aims to alleviate pressure on NHS emergency departments this winter by helping to reduce the number of people requiring emergency admissions with illnesses that could have been effectively treated earlier by self-care or community pharmacy services.

During the winter months, the demand for NHS services increases significantly as cold weather means there are more slips, trips and injuries. We also tend to spend more time indoors which leads to coughs and colds being passed around our family, friends and work colleagues.

This all adds up to more of us having an accident or becoming unwell with a winter bug, meaning more people want to see their GP, attend accident and emergency or call 999.’The earlier, the better’ reminds people that, if you take action quickly, many of the common winter ailments and illnesses can easily be treated at home, or with advice from a pharmacist – with no need to see a doctor or nurse.

Dr Peter Weaving, GP Clinical Director and Clinical Director for Emergency Care at the Trust, said: “I would like to encourage people to make sure they seek advice from their local pharmacist as soon as they begin to feel unwell and to choose the right service should they need further advice and examination.

“Our A&E teams have to deal with many people who have life-threatening conditions such as heart attacks and strokes, plus those who have been involved in serious accidents. We need to ensure that we can concentrate on helping these emergency cases.

“Before you come to A&E, take a moment to think carefully about whether you could be treated elsewhere. Your local high street chemist can give expert, fast and confidential advice and treatment for many common complaints and can refer you on to other services if needed. The key is to be seen by your pharmacist quickly – do not let your condition worsen first.”

NHS Cumbria CCG’s Clinical Chair, Dr Hugh Reeve, said: “If you are feeling unwell, your local pharmacist can provide expert advice to help you manage your long-term condition or can help you if you have a bad cough, a cold or sore throat. They’ll also tell you if they think you should see a doctor. 

“A mini-website, www.choosewellcumbria.co.uk designed by NHS Cumbria CCG for smartphones, tablets and computers means people can access information about where to get medical care out of hours and appeals to the public not to go to A&E departments this winter unless they genuinely have a serious or life-threatening health problem. designed by NHS Cumbria CCG for smartphones, tablets and computers means people can access information about where to get medical care out of hours and appeals to the public not to go to A&E departments this winter unless they genuinely have a serious or life-threatening health problem.

“During the winter months, when people are more likely to have falls in icy conditions, have breathing difficulties due to the cold weather and winter viruses are affecting many people, the health services are in great demand and what we don’t need at such a busy time is people turning up at A&E with minor injuries and ailments.”

For more information about the campaign and for advice, please visit www.nhs.uk/asap