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Help protect our local NHS by making the right choice

Local health leaders are today urging everyone to help protect the NHS by choosing the right service for their needs as pressure continues to increase on our hospitals and GP surgeries.

This image shows the options available:

Self Care
Mental Health
NHS 111
Covid-19 Testing
GP Practices
Accident & Emergency

There are more inpatients in Calderdale Royal Hospital and Huddersfield Royal Infirmary with the coronavirus than at any point since the start of the pandemic.

There are more inpatients in Calderdale Royal Hospital and Huddersfield Royal Infirmary with the coronavirus than at any point since the start of the pandemic.

In recent weeks there has also been a rise in the number of people visiting A&Es with minor injuries which could have be treated more quickly by other health and care services.

The message is clear; please don’t come to A&E unless absolutely necessary: in serious or life-threatening situations. If a person feels unwell and requires medical advice they could speak to a pharmacist, call 111, their GP or in an emergency, 999.

Attending A&E when you could get your care elsewhere puts extra pressure on NHS staff and services at a time when there are high numbers of critically ill patients.

GP surgeries continue to be open as they have been throughout the pandemic but they too are extremely busy and have introduced emergency measures to cope with the unprecedented demand.

Dr Steven Cleasby, Clinical Chair of NHS Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group, said:

“Given the number of people with COVID-19 who are being cared for in our hospitals, it really is no exaggeration to say that this is a matter of life and death.

“We’ve been living through this pandemic for a long time now and throughout this unprecedented period the NHS has always been there for our local people when you need us most.

“We now need you to support us by following the lockdown rules and by making the right choice for your needs. This will help us focus our attention of the most poorly people in our community and help us deliver the lifesaving vaccination programme.

“GP practices are the busiest we’ve ever been, so if you need health advice quickly for aches, pains, rashes and other minor illnesses and conditions, speak to a pharmacist. They can recommend a treatment to help or will tell you if you need to speak to a doctor. If you do visit a pharmacy, please make sure you wear a facemask and observe social distancing rules.

“If you’re not sure where to go for help visit www.111.nhs.uk online, and follow the prompts on-screen, which will point you to the right medical service for your needs. You can also call 111 from your telephone when it’s urgent, but not a health emergency.

“Only contact your GP practice when you’ve explored these options first. If you do need to contact your GP surgery please be patient. Our telephone lines are extremely busy, you may want to contact us using our website or NHS App instead.

“Finally, we are asking members of the public not to contact their GP practice, hospital or pharmacies for information on the covid-19 vaccine. Please be assured that the NHS will contact people directly to let them know when it is your turn to be vaccinated”.

Helen Barker – Chief Operating Officer – Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust said:

“Our hospitals are dealing with the highest number of patients with COVID-19 since the pandemic began and so staff at Calderdale Royal Hospital and Huddersfield Royal Infirmary are extremely busy.

“A&E services are for serious and life-threatening condition, serious accident, or injury. If it’s not an emergency please call 111 first. NHS 111 will make sure you get the right treatment from the most suitable service. They can also book you in for a GP appointment if they feel it’s necessary.”

People in Calderdale also have access to a mental health helpline 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The confidential helpline offers support and guidance to anyone registered with a GP practice in Calderdale by calling free on 0800 183 0558.

As well as information and advice, trained telephone advisors can help people access local mental health and emotional wellbeing support. People don’t have to have used mental health services before. Carers, or those concerned about a loved one or friend, will also be able to telephone for advice.