Use NHS services wisely this weekend

NHS leaders are asking people to continue to use services wisely over the weekend to help medical professionals return to normal services.

Speaking on behalf of NHS organisations, Dr Neil O’Brien, who is chair of the Northern Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) Forum said: “The public have really taken on board messages from the local NHS this week about using services wisely and it is important that people always think carefully about how and when they access services – A&E and 999 emergency services should only ever be used for genuine emergencies which are serious of life threatening.

“Because patients have been understanding and supportive of the NHS by listening to these messages it has allowed local organisations to deal with the cyber-attack and protect their computer systems and therefore recover more quickly.

“We do need to understand why this has happened and it is important that work to gain insight is carried out in a co-ordinated way with all NHS partners and this will take some time.”

Dr O’Brien concluded: “How we have responded to this situation just shows how our whole NHS community is greater than the simple sum of its parts, and makes us all proud to serve our patients and public together, making sure they get the best and safest healthcare possible.”

Although the NHS is returning to normal, members of the public are still asked to think before using A&E, GP practices or calling NHS 111 and to use services wisely.

What you can do to help

The public is being advised that this continues to be a busy week for all NHS services in the region and to support the NHS in the following ways to help services to return to normal.

Remember many common illnesses can be best looked after at home with over the counter medication, plenty of fluids, rest and recuperation – and no need to visit A&E.

Pharmacies are open and can help if you start to feel unwell with a cough, cold or other minor ailment or injury – details of your nearest pharmacist can be found at urgentoremergency.co.uk.

Parents and carers of children under five can get medical advice on a range of common childhood illnesses from the ‘NHS Child Health’ app available from Google Play or the App store.

People should continue to access emergency services in the usual way if there is a genuine need for urgent medical help that cannot wait.

Please continue to keep A&E and emergency 999 service free for those with serious or life threatening needs.

For all NHS appointments including GPs and hospital services please bring with you any medications, letters or paperwork you already have.

If you already have a GP appointment, please attend as usual.

If you feel unwell then contact