Examine your options before using Accident and Emergency departments is the message from doctors and nurses this Christmas and New Year.
Coughs, colds, sore-throats, upset stomachs, general aches and pains, and flu will usually clear up on their own. Keep warm, drink plenty of fluids and, if appropriate, treat with over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol.
Contact your GP for help with injuries or illnesses that won’t go away.
Alternatively, visit West Lancashire Health Centre at Ormskirk hospital which is open from 8am to 10pm all year round (Christmas Day 9am to 5pm). Skelmersdale NHS Walk-in Centre is also open every day between 7am and 10pm (except Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day and weekends 9am to 5pm).
“A&E is for people facing life-threatening and serious emergencies such as serious accidents, serious burns, breathing problems, heart-attacks and strokes,” said Southport A&E matron Jayne Norbury.
“You don’t need an appointment but we’ll make an assessment on arrival and, depending on how urgent treatment is needed, you may have to wait up to four hours. The triage nurse or clinician may signpost you to a different health care provider such as your GP, dentist or pharmacy.
“That’s why you might be better examining your options and choosing another NHS service – or even treating yourself.”
Advice is also available from NHS Direct on 0845 46 47 and NHS Choices at www.nhs.uk 24 hours a day as well as local pharmacies.
Trust clinics providing sexual health services will be closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.
Telephone 01704 513303 for more information about opening times.
Issued by Tony Ellis, marketing and communications manager Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust
Telephone 01704 704494