The right healthcare, for you, near you, with you

In Wiltshire, there are numerous ways to access health care advice and treatment but people may not always be clear on which service is best for them. Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group is asking people to consider the range of options available before attending A&E or booking a GP appointment.

Dr Peter Jenkins, Chair of Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group comments:
“Knowing which services to access for health advice and treatment can seem a little confusing. People often default to ringing the GP or turning up at A&E but with so many other options available this isn’t always the best option.

“We have been looking closely at the way people want to access healthcare, together with how to best utilise the funding we are given. Treating people in or as close to home as possible is fundamental to providing a healthcare service that truly meets the needs of our population.   

“To deliver this, we have a number of community teams who provide local, personal and seamless care in a predominantly community setting. The teams each care for the health needs of approximately 20,000 people across a number of GP practices and have close relationships with other services, such as social care, mental health, domiciliary and voluntary services. Our aim is for people to receive efficient, personal and joined up care which allows them to continue to live in their local community as long and as well as possible.”

GP at St Anne’s Street Practice in Salisbury, Dr Chet Sheth, said:
“We often see people in the surgery with colds and flu which unless the patient is particularly young or elderly, can often be treated at a local pharmacy with over the counter medicines. Pharmacists have a wealth of knowledge on a range of health issues and are experts in medicines – they can also help you to decide whether it’s necessary for you to see a doctor or not if you’re unsure.

“For sprains, dislocations, minor cuts and burns or minor eye injuries then one of the two minor injury units in the county or the walk-in centre in Salisbury would be able to help you. If you’re not sure, then call the 111 service, they will be able to advise you on the most appropriate place to go for advice or treatment. If you need urgent medical assistance for a serious or life threatening condition then always telephone 999 straight away.”

Dr Peter Jenkins, concludes:
“Our priority is always to ensure that people get the help they need, when they need it. By making the right choices and taking personal responsibility, people can not only help keep themselves well, but help to free up time to allow health care practitioners to focus on those most in need.”

For location and opening times of Minor Injury Units in Wiltshire visit www.wiltshireccg.nhs.uk. Minor Injuries Units are for patients with less serious injuries, such as sprains, cuts and grazes. No appointments are required and they are led by qualified nurse practitioners.

The Salisbury walk-in centre is open from 0800 – 2000 everyday, including bank holidays. The centre is run by a team of experienced doctors and nurses and is based on a first come first served basis, unless someone is acutely unwell and needs immediate attention. For details on how to find the Salisbury walk-in centre visit http://www.salisburywalkincentre.co.uk.

NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and calls are free from landlines and mobiles. It is staffed by a team of fully trained advisers, supported by experienced nurses and paramedics. Healthcare advice can be given over the telephone or you may be directed to a local service that can help you best.

NHS Choices, the UK’s biggest health website also has a wealth of advice and information on a range of medical conditions as well as a useful symptom checker. NHS choices can be accessed by visiting www.nhs.uk.

If a medical situation is life threatening, you should always phone 999. Serious injuries, loss of consciousness, chest pain or suspected stroke are medical emergencies and you should not hesitate to call 999.