Since 1948 in the UK, we have had the National Health Service (NHS) which provides Government funded medical and health care and guarantees care to all people living in the UK. Care can be from a consultation with a doctor, a nurse, or midwife, it could be treatment when sick, or emergency care in matters of life or death. The NHS gives people a sense of security and peace of mind, to know that they will be looked after when they are most vulnerable.
When we are unwell or injured it is vital to seek medical care if we are worried or unable to treat ourselves. In order to avoid exhausting NHS resources, it is important to consider the following:
- Visit the pharmacist – for minor illness or injury, such as coughs, colds, aches and pains. They can advise on treatments or whether you need to visit a GP or other professional. Check here for more details.
- Visit your GP regarding issues of physical or mental health. They can refer you to specialists if needed.
- Visit an urgent treatment centre (walk-in centre) – for urgent medical attention that is not life-threatening. They can help with sprains, minor head injuries, cuts, ear infections, and more.
- Only visit A&E for genuine life-threatening emergencies, such as loss of consciousness, chest pains or breathing difficulties. For more information.
- Or call 999 if someone’s life is at risk due to illness or injury. It is important to know when to call 999, find out.
- Visit the sexual health clinic when you require advice about contraception or sexually transmitted infections (STI’s), most offer tests for STI’s. More information on NHS website.
Remember to seek advice or treatment when you need it or call NHS on 111 for help if you are not sure what to do about an urgent medical problem.
Often people visit the GP for something that a simple visit the pharmacist could fix, or we go to A&E when we don’t have a life threatening emergency. This is somewhat a waste of NHS resources which could be used for someone who actually needs that time. We all have a responsibility to protect the resources of the NHS, so let us be more conscious when seeking medical help.
Have a nice day!