WINTER is a busy time for the Northern Care Alliance’s four A&E departments and the organisation is asking the public to think carefully and consider which health service to use this winter.
Choosing well helps keep free A&E for emergencies, those who are critically ill, patients who need emergency and urgent care. Selecting the correct service ensures patients get the best treatment in the shortest possible time.
The number of people attending the NCA’s four A&Es in Salford, Oldham, Bury, and North Manchester is increasing significantly due to the cold weather.
The NCA also operates an Urgent Care Centre (UCC) at Rochdale Infirmary, which is an alternative to A&E and can deal with urgent care conditions for Rochdale borough residents.
The Northern Care Alliance NHS Group (NCA) brings together the Salford Royal and Pennine Acute trusts, including five hospitals, community services and over 19,000 staff.
A&Es are for emergencies such as choking, severe bleeding or a suspected stroke. For all other illnesses, you can check which service is right for you by calling NHS 111 or going online to the NHS 111 website.
A large range of common winter illnesses and injuries can be treated at home with over-the-counter medicines and plenty of rest.
Dr Chris Brookes, A&E Consultant at Salford Royal, and Group Chief Medical Officer for the Northern Care Alliance, said:
“At our hospitals that have A&E departments in Salford, Oldham, Bury, and North Manchester we are encouraging the public to Help Us, Help You by keeping A&E free for those who are critically ill and need emergency care, for example those with life-threatening conditions. Please think carefully about choosing the right healthcare service.
“Emergencies include heart attack or a suspected stroke. If you’re unsure where to go and think you need urgent medical attention, but it’s not life-threatening, contacting NHS 111 can help you make sure you reach the best NHS service for your health need. NHS 111 is available online at 111.nhs.uk as well as by phone.”
Pharmacists can also offer advice and over the counter remedies for many common winter illnesses and local people are being reminded to stock up their cupboards with medicines over winter.
The NHS 111 telephone advice service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls to the service are free from landlines and mobile phones.
For a full list of pharmacy opening times this Christmas and New Year please visit the Greater Manchester LPC website: https://psnc.org.uk/greater-
manchester-lpc/service- information/pharmacy-bank- holiday-opening-hours/