With winter viruses such as flu, Covid-19 and Norovirus on the rise, we’re more likely to be feeling under the weather at this time of year. While most illnesses can be safely treated at home, or with advice from your local pharmacy, if you do become very unwell and need urgent healthcare, there’s medical advice online or by phone 24 hours a day at NHS111.
Anyone contacting NHS 111 who needs emergency medical care from a hospital Emergency Department (also known as A&E) will be given direct access to the department. Staff at NHS111 can also refer patients through to Minor Injuries Units and Urgent Treatment Centres. This will ensure that people get to the right place for treatment quickly and may reduce their waiting times.
NHS Devon’s Clinical Lead for Urgent Care and Plymouth GP Dr Dafydd Jones said: “You can recover from most winter bugs by resting at home, but if you need medical help urgently, and your GP practice is closed, it’s always there for you through NHS111.
“It means you can get the advice you need from the comfort of your own home and if you do need to go to a minor injuries unit, urgent treatment centre or emergency department, you can be booked directly in and have a shorter wait on site.
“By using NHS 111 you can also do your bit to help reduce pressure on our busy urgent and emergency care services.”
Flu and other respiratory illnesses are on the rise in children this winter. Parents can also get advice on common childhood illnesses through the HANDi paediatric app. People can download the app to access quick and convenient advice.
People can also visit the NHS website www.nhs.uk for a complete guide to conditions, symptoms and treatments, including what to do if you or someone you care for is unwell and when to get help.
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