Patients in the South West encouraged to help ease pressures on the NHS by self-caring this winter as part of a British Medical Association (BMA) campaign.
A new poster campaign aimed at helping patients get the help they need this winter has been launched by the BMA. The posters, distributed to all GP practices across the South West encourages patients to self-care, for example when suffering from colds or sore throat, rather than visiting their local GP or A&E.
The campaign comes at a time when excess winter deaths across the UK are rising, with the South West seeing 3,100 last year, with an increase of 660 from 2011/12. With demand on the NHS expected to rise over the next couple of months, the BMA say it is vital that patients are informed of the services available, how they can access the appropriate care, and, if suitable, are given the necessary support and information to treat their own symptoms.
Dr Nigel Watson, South West GP and BMA representative says, “The next few months will no doubt be incredibly busy for GPs across the South West. We have ensured that we are as prepared as possible, but whilst we accept that there will always be additional pressure on the NHS at this time of year, the reality is that our health service is stretched to its limits.
“Of course everyone across the region who needs to see their doctor will be seen, but on some occasions a GP appointment may not be the best option and patients might be able to help themselves more than we can help them.”