Accessing the right treatment – Right Place First Time.
Almost half of all A+E attendances could have been treated by their GP, a local pharmacist or by patients themselves with basic self-care, first aid or advice. Many people automatically go to A+E as soon as they feel ill or have an accident. Below we highlight a range of options to help you get the treatment you need.
A well-stocked medicine cabinet and first aid box will help you deal with many common illnesses and injuries. If you have an on-going medical condition such as asthma, ensure you have adequate supplies of the medication you require at home, especially near weekends and holidays.
Keep all medicines out of sight and reach of children and always follow the dosage instructions on the label.
Your local pharmacist is able to give expert advice without an appointment. Each pharmacy has a fully qualified pharmacist available to offer free advice on common ailments, health matters, and medicines. Pharmacists also provide contraception and emergency contraception (the morning after pill).
Your GP practice can deal with a very broad range of complaints, including infections like cystitis and sore throats, mental health problems such as depression and anxiety, joint pains and arthritis. If you require more specialised care they will refer you to a specialist service or hospital.
If your condition is not life-threatening, call your GP first. Your GP has your records and knows your medical history, medicines, and allergies. Your GP can also quickly admit you to a specialist hospital ward if needed, often more quickly than if you go via A&E.
If you need to see a GP or nurse and you cannot safely wait until the GP surgery is open. call NHS 111 if you need medical help fast, but it is not a 999 emergency, you will be assessed, given advice, and directed straightaway to the local service that can help you best.
Walk-in and Urgent Care Centre, Hartlepool Hospital, Holdforth Road, Hartlepool
For 24 hour per day / 7 days per week treatment of minor injuries without an appointment. You can also contact 111 who can arrange a pre-booked appointment for you if necessary.
A+E (Accident + Emergency)
A+E is an emergency service that should only be used when people are badly injured or show the symptoms of critical illness. A&E is at:-
University Hospital of North Tees , Hardwick Rd, Stockton, TS19 8PE and James Cook University Hospital, Marton Rd, Middlesbrough, TS4 3BW.
A+E is not for minor injuries such as small bumps and cuts or minor illnesses such as coughs, flu and earache or for illnesses which you have had for a number of days.
The 999 service is a n emergency service that should only be used when people are badly injured or show the symptoms of critical illness.
If you think a patient is suffering from one of the following you must dial 999:
• Heart attack
• Sudden unexplained shortness of breath
• Heavy bleeding
• Unconsciousness (even if the patient has regained consciousness)
• Traumatic back/spinal/neck pain
If you are not sure what to do and need some advice, you can ring NHS 111 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, they will provide you with expert, confidential advice and information on what to do if you are feeling ill. Translators are available.