As health professionals gear up for a busy winter dealing with seasonal ailments, cold and flu, the head of NHS Wales has called on everyone to choose the right service to save time and free up busy emergency services.

Launching the Choose Well campaign this winter, Dr Andrew Goodall said:

“Choosing the right services and treatments help save you time and make sure that you and your family get the right care quickly.

“For coughs, colds and minor ailments, talk to your community pharmacist first.  They can give expert advice, over-the-counter medicines and prescriptions, and advise on whether you need to see a doctor.

“For persistent symptoms, infections or if your child has a fever, go and see your GP.

“If it isn’t a life-threatening emergency but you aren’t sure who to call, contact NHS Direct Wales on 0845 46 47 or go to www.nhsdirect.wales.nhs.uk. They can let you know where to find your nearest pharmacist or most appropriate service.

“A&E is for people who are very sick or badly injured and unless this is the case you will get the right care quicker by choosing well.  Even if the A&E is closer, it is not the best place to go to for most health problems.

“There is lots we can all do, like ensuring prescriptions are ordered in advance.  Friends and relatives of older people can help by checking in on them and making sure they are keeping their homes warm – at least 18 degrees – to prevent any existing health problems getting worse.

“Choosing the right service for your needs can reduce the wait you face and helps ensure the people who need emergency care the most get the help they need. I know NHS staff will be working hard this winter. Choose well to help them help you.”

Get seen as quickly as possible – choose the right health service this winter
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