Health services across mid and south Essex are currently experiencing major pressures. Accident and Emergency departments, the ambulance service, our GP practices and community health services are all being stretched by the number of people calling on them for help. The local NHS is urging people to use services wisely and to only call 999 for an ambulance for serious, life-threatening illnesses.
NHS services are under severe pressure at the moment. This could mean longer waits for those with less serious conditions as some services, including ambulances and A&E departments work to ensure that those with the greatest clinical need get the urgent care they need first.
“The NHS is always here when needed, but we are asking everyone to think carefully about which NHS service would be most appropriate for them at this time.
“If you need help urgently but aren’t sure about which service you need, NHS 111, either online or on the phone, will ensure you get the right care and treatment.Dr Anna Davey, GP lead for Mid and South Essex ICB
There are a number of ways to get health advice and care if you, a family member or a friend feel ill:
- Visit the NHS website – for advice and information on how to look after yourself and your family. It covers thousands of illnesses and conditions: www.nhs.uk
- Visit a pharmacy – for expert advice and low-cost medicines to ease your symptoms and help treat your condition. Every area has a late opening pharmacy and most have consulting rooms where you can ask for advice in private. Go to www.nhs.uk to find your nearest open pharmacist.
- Contact your GP practice – GP practices have a range of staff to assess and treat you. Visit your practice website or call them to get help.
- Visit www.111.nhs.uk or call 111 – for free, round the clock help when your GP is closed, when it’s an urgent but not a life-threatening 999 situation, or if you are unsure where to go to get the right help for your medical condition. They can advise you on the help you need and even book you an appointment with a doctor when your own GP is closed. NHS 111 can also advise on late-opening pharmacies, minor injuries units, mental health help or urgent care centre services. The online service or the adviser on the phone will direct you to the nearest suitable service to where you are.
- Mental health help – if you are in a mental health crisis call NHS 111 and select option 2.