NHS urges patients: use the right service

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SICKLY locals are being reminded to use the right NHS service in a bid to stop waiting rooms at GP surgeries and hospitals from becoming clogged up.

With a host of winter illnesses currently infecting their way across Hastings and St Leonards, health bosses say they are relying on ill people to help them cope with the extra demand.

According to a spokesman for NHS Hastings and Rother, choosing the right service helps people to get treated more quickly, reduces the risk of spreading illnesses more widely, and eases pressure on under-pressure NHS services.

Diana Grice, director of public health at NHS Hastings and Rother, said: “Getting the right care in the right place is better for patients and better for the NHS as it helps to make the best use of resources.

“There are lots of different ways people can access a wide range of NHS services and make sure they get the treatment they need, when they need it, at a place that is convenient for them.

“For example, minor ailments such as upset stomachs, headaches and coughs can all be treated at home with a well-stocked medicine cabinet and plenty of rest.

“It is important to remember that you can also get expert advice from your local pharmacy.

“Encouraging people to use the most appropriate service for their need is good for patients and good for the NHS as it means that we can make the most of what we have.”

For guidance over which service to use, either look online at www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk or call NHS Direct on 0845 4647.

Alternative, here in Hastings, the Station Plaza Health Centre is open to anyone between 8am and 8pom, seven days a week.

In an emergency always dial 999.