The NHS in Hampshire is advising local people to use health services responsibly this weekend as hospitals cope with mounting demand.
Hospitals are under severe pressure at the moment because a lot of people are attending Emergency Departments.
NHS West Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group is asking local communities to check on older or vulnerable neighbours and ensure they have enough prescription medication and over the counter remedies.
If people are unwell, they should get advice from other parts of the NHS including:
- NHS Choices website – https://www.nhs.uk for advice on a wide range of illnesses and conditions
- Local pharmacists – who are health professionals and able to give advice
- NHS 111 – if you need urgent advice (and you cannot wait until your GP surgery reopens)
- Local hubs – people can make an appointment by calling their own GP surgery or NHS 111. Appointments are available with a GP or practice nurse at the ‘extended hours’ hubs, which are open every weekday until 8pm at Andover, Winchester, Romsey, Hedge End, Ringwood and Lymington. Weekend opening times vary and only Lymington is open on New Year’s Day.
People should take extra care during this cold snap to avoid trips, slips and falls on icy surfaces.
Ellen McNicholas, Director of Quality and Nursing at NHS West Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We know local people understand the NHS is under huge pressure.
“If they need health advice or treatment we are asking them to contact other parts of the NHS, to avoid putting added strain on our hospitals.”
She added: “Only dial 999 if someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk.”