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LOCAL health services and pharmacists are urging Colchester and Tendring residents to Choose Self Care for Life to help ease pressure on General Practitioners (GP) and Accident and Emergency (A&E) departments.

Self Care Week, which runs from Monday 12 November – Sunday 18 November 2018, highlights how anyone with minor illnesses and injuries - such as colds and sprains to possible small fractures – can easily get quick advice and treatment from a pharmacist or walk-in centre, rather than their local GP or A&E.

The campaign also promotes Choose Self Care for Life, an initiative encouraging people to make small changes to their lifestyle, from eating and resting well to becoming more active, to improve their wellbeing. 

Hasan Chowhan, Chair of the North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group and GP at Creffield Medical Centre in Colchester, said: “Self Care Week is an ideal time for us to highlight how a large number of consultations for minor ailments have a huge implication in both cost and time for medical practitioners and patients alike. In fact, it can actually hamper appointment availability to those who desperately need to see their GP.

“Before visiting their GP or attending A&E - which is for serious, life-threatening conditions ranging from severe bleeding to heart attacks - people should consider whether there is a better service for their health needs. Anyone can receive treatment from their local pharmacist and walk-in centre or by calling NHS 111. Put simply, by using the right health service people can help relieve pressure on GPs and A&E.

“If just 10% of people in our area went to their pharmacist or called NHS 111, rather than use A&E for advice on treating minor ailments, we would see around 1,500 fewer people using the A&E service.”

Tina Obi-Uzom, local community pharmacist at The Lighthouse Pharmacy in Clacton-on-Sea, stated: “Your local pharmacist is, and should always be, your first port of call for treating minor ailments. We can help people with all sorts of health care advice and treatments without them needing an appointment.

“We can also assist anyone who wants to lose weight or stop smoking or, if needed, we can signpost them to another NHS service. At the end of the day we’re here to care for you.”

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NOTE TO EDITORS

 

North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group (NEE CCG):

 

The NEE CCG was formally established on 1 April 2013. The CCG is a clinically led organisation which comprises 40 GP practices across Colchester and Tendring.

 

It is responsible for commissioning most health services for the people of North East Essex, including hospital care, community health services, mental health services, learning disability services and urgent and emergency care, excluding primary care.

 

Media enquiries: For more information please contact the CCG Communications team on (01206) 918653 or email NEECCG.comms@nhs.net