“Is A&E the right place for me?”
The Christmas holidays are about enjoying the festivities and spending time with loved ones but sometimes it doesn’t work out that way. If you, a family member, neighbour or friend is taken ill over the holidays – would you know what to do?
As part of our Wrap Up Winter campaign, we’ll be sharing practical information and advice over the next few weeks with the help of our NHS partners in Leeds to help you make the right choice if you, or a loved one, fall ill or get injured over the holidays. We hope you will be able to share this information with your friends and family so that you can get the right treatment, at the right time, in the right place should you need it.
The demand on our A&E services during winter is at its peak. You can help your local NHS by making the right choice about which health service to use by simply stopping and thinking “Is A&E the best place for me?”
“So where is the place for me?”
A&E departments are for those who are seriously ill or emergencies. If you are normally healthy and only have what could be described as a minor ailment, there are a number of services that you can use to get fast and effective advice and treatment without an appointment, free of charge. For help choosing the right NHS service if you become injured or ill, click here for the list of A&E alternatives in Leeds.
Self care and a well stocked medicine cabinet can help as well as ensuring that if you are on regular medication, you order what you need to cover the holiday period.
If you have a minor injury or illness, use your local minor injuries unit for treatment and advice. You don’t need an appointment and may be seen quicker. For details of your nearest walk-in centre or minor injuries unit, click here.
Have your loved ones packed their medicines?
If you are looking after loved ones over the Christmas holidays and you know that they have regular medication, for example they may need an asthma inhaler or medicines for their diabetes, it is important that you remind them to pack their medicines when they come to stay with you. It is also worth checking that people are taking their medication as directed to on the label or patient information leaflet that comes with the medicine they are taking.
Remember any unused medication should be returned to a pharmacy as they can be a safety risk, and not taking prescribed medicines can sometimes lead to further health issues. If you are worried speak to a pharmacist or book an appointment for your loved one with their GP after the holidays.
If you find out that your loved ones have not brought the right medication or they have run out there are a number of pharmacies that are open over the holiday period. If you run out of prescription medicines and you don’t have a prescription with you, you may be able to get an emergency supply from a pharmacy. It’s a good idea to take along your medicine’s packaging with you, if you have kept it.
For more information visit http://www.leeds.nhs.uk/isitforme. There’s also lots more information about staying well this winter at www.leeds.gov.uk/wrapupwinter. You can also join the discussion and share your messages with us on twitter: @betterliveslds using #wrapupwinter