Choose the right NHS service over New Year

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(Last Updated On: December 31, 2019)

Doctors in Devon are providing essential advice to people across the county on how to choose the right service for them if they feel unwell over the New Year period.

Devon’s NHS leaders are asking people to do what they can to prevent themselves becoming unwell and make sensible decisions when it comes to choosing the right NHS service if they need help.

All parts of the NHS system are very busy in Devon at this time of year.

If it’s not an emergency or life-threatening condition, help the NHS to help you by choosing the right service for your needs by considering self-care, which is the best choice to treat minor illnesses and injuries like a coughs, colds, grazes, small cuts or a sore throat. Look after yourself at home with over-the-counter medicines and plenty of rest.

Remember pharmacists advise and treat illnesses like diarrhoea, earache, painful cough, sticky eye, teething and rashes and by visiting your pharmacy you can avoid an unnecessary trip to your GP or A&E and save time. Pharmacies are open until late as well as at weekends and you don’t need an appointment.

Most pharmacies also have a confidential consulting area for anyone who wants to talk in private. Find your nearest pharmacy here: https://www.nhs.uk/service-search/find-a-pharmacy/

Call 111 or click on 111.nhs.uk (for people aged over five only) if you’re feeling unwell, unsure or if you need health advice and guidance in non-life threatening emergencies – available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

If you urgently need to see a GP out of hours, then the 111 services can arrange this. If you can wait to see your GP within normal hours, surgeries are open until at least 6 pm today [31 December 2019] or from 8.30 am or earlier on 2 January 2020 – check your practice website for details.

Most practices in Devon now offer online consultations 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including bank holidays. Online consultations give people access to support quickly and conveniently, including health information and advice, sick notes or repeat prescriptions. All you need to do is fill out a simple online form on your practice’s website and you will receive a response by the end of the next working day.

The new NHS App is a simple and secure way for people to access a range of NHS services on their smartphone or tablet.

Its services include; checking symptoms, NHS information and advice on hundreds of conditions and treatments, booking GP appointments, ordering repeat prescriptions and getting urgent help using NHS 111 online

Resource Centre is in Newton Abbot, Tiverton and Totnes – always check for local opening hours.

Mental health crisis cafés, also known as The Moorings @ Devon, offer out-of-hours mental health support to anyone aged 16+ in Devon, from locations in Barnstaple, Exeter, and Torquay. Click www.mhm.org.uk/themoorings-devon for contact details and opening hours.

NHS website www.nhs.uk is always available for health advice and guidance.

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