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Medical care campaign

PUBLISHED: 16:41 01 December 2009 | UPDATED: 15:47 03 July 2010

PEOPLE in Great Yarmouth who need medical care are being encouraged to choose well this winter in a major new campaign to reduce pressure on the local NHS.

PEOPLE in Great Yarmouth who need medical care are being encouraged to choose well this winter in a major new campaign to reduce pressure on the local NHS.

Instead of rushing off to A&E or to a doctor if unwell or injured, members of the public are being encouraged to think about the healthcare they may need using a colour-coded red, amber, green and blue thermometer logo.

The campaign is backed by printed information that will be distributed in public places - such as GP surgeries, libraries and children's centres - to fully explain why it's important people go to the right place for treatment.

Health chiefs at NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney are also keen to encourage people to avoid becoming poorly in the first place.

Public health consultant Dr Augustine Pereira said: “Along with choosing the right healthcare we would encourage everybody to take some further steps to help them stay well throughout winter, especially those who may struggle to pay their heating bills.

“Everyone should keep warm and eat well and make sure they wear sensible clothing - both when indoors and going outside.

“This is particularly important for elderly people, who are more vulnerable as the weather turns colder.

“We would also urge everyone who is eligible to make sure they have had their seasonal flu vaccination.”

Anyone finding it difficult to pay their heating bills can call the Winter Fuel Payments line, 0845 915 1515, the Winter Warmth Advice Line, 0800 085 7000 or the Warm Front Home Improvement Scheme on 0800 316 2805.

For information about staying well this winter visit www.livinglife.gyw.nhs.uk.

Self-care: For treating minor illnesses or injuries such as grazes, sore throats and coughs people can self-care.

NHS Direct: Ring 0845 4647 for round the clock health queries and information about local services

Local pharmacist: Anyone with a common cold, sickly stomach or anything in between should talk to a pharmacist.

GP: If someone is vomiting, has ear pain, back ache, diarrhoea or may need an examination or medical advice they should go to see their GP.

NHS Walk-in Centre or Minor Injury Units: People who may need treatment for minor illnesses and injuries that do not require an A&E visit - and without an appointment - can go to either the NHS Greyfriars Walk-in Centre in Greyfriars Way in Great Yarmouth or one of the Minor Injuries Units based at Patrick Stead Hospital in Halesworth or Beccles Hospital.

A&E or 999: Symptoms of a serious illness, those involved in a major accident, or anyone whose life may be at risk, perhaps due to choking, chest pains, black outs or blood loss should go to A&E or call 999.

As well as gaining free and confidential health advice from their pharmacists, people can also refer to the NHS website, www.nhs.uk to check their symptoms or call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47 at any time.

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