We want to remind people that the NHS is still here to help you should you suddenly fall ill or get injured. To help you be seen in the right place, at the right time by the right healthcare professional you need to use the most appropriate service.
Services are open but many health services are currently operating in different ways to keep you and our staff safe. Social distancing and infection control procedures mean there is less waiting space in GP and A&E waiting room areas as over-crowded waiting rooms would provide an unacceptable risk to patients due to coronavirus. Face coverings are compulsory in all healthcare settings to protect yourself and our staff. Children under 11 and those unable to put on or wear a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or disability do not have to wear a face covering.
If you think you have any symptoms of coronavirus you must not go to your GP practice, pharmacy or hospital. If you need help in a life threatening emergency please tell the 999 call taker if you have coronavirus or symptoms of this, and mention this to paramedics on arrival. The advice for people with suspected coronavirus remains the same, stay at home and self-isolate. If you think you have the symptoms of coronavirus, such as a high temperature, loss of taste or smell or a new continuous cough, please use the online NHS 111 coronavirus service that can tell you if you need medical help. If you are unable to use online services then you should call NHS 111.
- Think NHS 111 First; if you can’t get to your GP practice/your local pharmacy is closed and something doesn’t feel right but you also know it’s not an emergency you can call NHS 111 or go online www.111.nhs.uk. You will be accessing safe advice that will help you get to the right healthcare service when it’s not an emergency. NHS 111 is a free number that you can reach 24 hours a day, for a BSL interpreter visit https://interpreternow.co.uk/nhs111
- Visit your pharmacy; pharmacists are trained medical professionals that can advise you on the best treatment for common heath conditions. They can offer clinical advice and over-the-counter medicines for a range of minor illnesses, such as coughs, colds, sore throats, tummy trouble and aches and pains. There’s lots of pharmacies across West Yorkshire and Harrogate, you can walk-in and be seen in a private consultation room too. Many pharmacies are open until late and at weekends. You do not need an appointment. Read more about what to expect from your pharmacy team
- Your GP practice is open but the way you access your practice has changed. Most initial appointments are done over the telephone or by video. A face-to-face appointment is then offered if it is clinically necessary and safe to do so after the initial consultation. Get in touch with your GP practice if you have concerns regarding ongoing conditions, ear discharge / pain, rashes, and stomach aches. If you have any cancer symptoms such as a lump in your breast, changes in bowel habits, blood in your pee or poo, unexplained weight loss, moles that appear to change or cough that you’ve had for three weeks or more it is important to get it checked.
- 999 / A&E should only be used for life or limb-threatening serious illness or injury. Please help other people by avoiding calling 999 or visiting emergency departments unless it really is necessary. This means that we can ensure that people that need emergency care can get it as quickly as possible.
- Help us to keep patients safe in the reduced space in waiting rooms. We need to allow A&E departments to be able to provide emergency care safely for those with life-threatening emergencies. We also know that many of those attending A&E could be seen elsewhere, for example primary care or an Urgent Treatment Centre and want to help people make the right healthcare choices to ensure their safety, as well as making sure they get the right treatment in the most appropriate place.
- Dental please do not visit A&E Departments with dental problems as they are not equipped to deal with them. For urgent dental problems you can call any local dental practice and they will advise you, or you can call NHS 111
- Mental health looking after your mind is as important as looking after your body. It’s important that you get support if you’re feeling stressed, anxious, depressed or lonely. Sometimes it could be a case of just reaching out to someone you know and having a chat. We know that this doesn’t always work for everyone, so if you do feel like you need help remember there are services here to help you.
- Vaccinations and immunisations the NHS is still urging parents to bring children forward for lifesaving jabs to stop killer diseases like measles and mumps and prevent outbreaks of other serious diseases. So long as those attending appointments, including parents of babies or children, do not have symptoms of coronavirus all scheduled vaccinations should go ahead as normal. It is safe to attend appointments as health care settings have reduced the number of patients in the waiting room and social distancing measures are in place.
- Pregnant women unless you are having symptoms of coronavirus, it's really important you go to all your appointments and scans for the health of you and your baby. Hospitals and clinics are making sure it's safe for pregnant women to go to appointments. If you are worried about your health during pregnancy, or have symptoms of other conditions which are not related to coronavirus, or anything else you're worried about, you should still get medical help as you usually would. You can still have GP appointments or speak to your midwife or maternity team if you have any questions. If you have any questions or concerns at any time, speak to your midwife or maternity team. If you do not have a midwife or maternity team call a GP or use the NHS 111 online service.
- ‘Help Us, Help You’ help us, help you to stay safe and well this winter by accessing the appropriate services.
Pregnant women, people living with cancer or those with long term conditions are particularly reminded not to delay seeking or accessing health and care services should they need them. It's still important to get medical help if you need it. If you're advised to go to attend an appointment made for you, it's important to go.
You can help the NHS to help you stay well by; preventing an illness getting worse; taking the best course of action; to help you get well again sooner.
- GP Access ‘Help Us, Help You – When You Need It’ campaign
- Flu vaccination
- NHS 111 'Help Us, Help You – Know What to Do’ campaign.
- Winter Response ‘Help Us, Help You – Before it Gets Worse’ campaign
- Pharmacy Advice ‘Help Us, Help You – Get It Seen To’ campaign. For further details click here.
- NHS 111 'Help Us, Help You – Know What to Do’ campaign.