Patients are being urged to use NHS services wisely and ensure they choose the right service for their illness or injury over the busy winter season.
Many minor illnesses can be treated at home with basic medicines that are available from your local pharmacy. Stocking up on essential medicines can help you avoid a trip to the GP or even A&E. Medicine cabinet essentials include:
- painkillers such as aspirin, paracetamol, and ibuprofen
- anti-diarrhoea tablets and rehydration powders
- indigestion treatment
- bandages and plasters
- antiseptic cream or spray
- first aid kit
NHS England has issued the following advice recently, which, if followed will straight away reduce the demand on the practice:
Before contacting the doctor’s surgery for an appointment, please consider the following:
- Consider self-management of the illness. Many minor illnesses, such as coughs colds and sore throats do not need any medical intervention and can safely be treated with rest, Paracetamol and ensuring a good fluid intake. These sorts of infections are particularly common in children and can be considered a normal part of growing up. This would also apply to minor sprains, including back pain which can be managed by the individual with taking painkillers and keeping mobile.
- There is a wealth of information online, through NHS CHOICES. This is also a useful source of information if you want to know more about a particular condition or symptoms
- Your local pharmacist can often be a valuable resource in managing minor illness and our local pharmacies will be only too happy to help you
NHS 111 can help residents if they need medical help or advice urgently but it’s not a life-threatening situation. Open 24/7, 365 days a year, NHS 111 connects patients to a team of fully trained call advisers who are supported by experienced nurses, paramedics, and GPs.
They will ask questions to assess the symptoms, and give healthcare advice or direct the caller to a local NHS service. If necessary, they can also call an ambulance or direct people straight to A&E. Calls to NHS 111 are free from a landline or mobile phone.
GP Out of Hours
You can access the GP out-of-hours service by calling NHS 111. The NHS 111 team will assess your condition over the phone and if they think you need to be seen by a health professional, they will refer you to the OOH GP service.
Your local pharmacy
Local pharmacies can offer expert advice and treatment for a wide range of common conditions and minor injuries.
Pharmacies can help with a range of things including aches and pains, hangovers, colds, emergency contraception, and non-prescription medication. General opening times for pharmacies can be found HERE.
Minor Illness and Injury Units
There are a number of Minor Illness and Injury Units (MIIU) across the county that can treat a range of minor illnesses and injuries such as sprains and strains, broken bones, minor burns and scalds, minor head and eye injuries, bites and stings. No appointment required, opening hours over the Christmas and New Year period are as follows:
Monday – Sunday: 8am-8pm
Christmas Day: open 8am-8pm
Bank holidays: open 8am-8pm
Mental Health – 111 option 2
There is a new First Response Service (FRS) in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough which gives those in mental health crisis the opportunity to get access to help quickly, by calling NHS 111 and selecting option 2*.
The new service allows patients or carers to speak to specially-trained mental health staff who can provide advice, support, and signposting to other services. The service is available 24/7, 365 days a year. Click HERE for further information. Calls to NHS 111 are free from a landline or mobile phone.
*Patients registered with practices in Wisbech can access the service via dialling 111. The call handler will then transfer them direct to the FRS service.