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Clinicians across Suffolk and north east Essex are asking people to do what they can to prevent themselves becoming unwell and to choose the right NHS service for their needs if they need help this New Year’s Eve..

Their message on traditionally one of the busiest days of the year, comes as local hospital, GP and 111 services experience heightened demand.

GP Dr Richard West, said: “If it’s not an emergency or life-threatening condition, help the NHS to help you by choosing the right service for your needs.

“No one wants to spend new year’s eve waiting to be seen or contacted.

“There is a range of services that we have been promoting during the festive period that can support you.

“Please also self-care to treat minor illnesses and injuries like a coughs, colds, grazes, small cuts or a sore throat.  

“These can often be remedied if you look after yourself at home with over-the-counter medicines and plenty of rest and to ensure you are up-to-date with your vaccinations including flu and Covid vaccinations.

“You are much more likely to have a better experience of our services if you choose the right one for your needs.”

Jo Douglas, Chief Executive of AHP Suffolk, said: “If you have a problem with your joints, muscles or you experience back pain, there is no need to go to see your GP or visit A&E. 

“Most musculoskeletal problems can be self-managed without interventions from a clinician.  You can access NHS musculoskeletal self-help advice here, www.ahpsuffolk.co.uk, and refer yourself for physiotherapy if you find you need more support.  

“As with a cold or a headache, most people will be able to manage their symptoms themselves before considering seeing a physiotherapist or doctor.” 

Some of the provision available includes:

During the festive period, the clinical commissioning groups in Suffolk and north east Essex have been promoting the full range of services available, posted a series of adverts in local newspapers and produced a handy guide

For more information please visit Keep well this winter - SNEE NHS COVID-19 Vaccination Service (sneevaccine.org.uk)