Millions of patients are putting unnecessary strain on GP surgeries and A&E departments by seeking medical help for minor complaints such as colds, insect bites and dandruff, according to a report. Is this you? Do you decide to see a GP or go to A&E willy-nilly or do you stop for a moment and think? Or are you one of our amazing patients who understand when they need to see the GP or the A&E department and use these services appropriately?
Why is this so important?
Because GP surgeries and A&E departments are overloaded with people who have minor little illnesses – this means that patients with more serious medical problems are at risk of a delay in being seen.
Think for a moment – how would you feel if this was you or one of your close loved ones? Imagine having something that needed urgent attention. What if your condition got worse quickly and this could have been prevented if the doctor could have seen you earlier (but they couldn’t because of all the minor little illnesses). How would this make you feel?
So what are we saying?
It’s simple – all we are saying is that we are urging people suffering from minor ailments to think before they seek NHS help and get used to treating themselves. Make use of your wise family and friends. Use the internet. Get advice from your local pharmacist. Call 111 for telephone advice. Look things up for yourself. Technology is amazing these days. And we’ve put some resources for you below.
GPs and A&E departments are already overstretched. However, many appointments are unnecessary and for minor conditions that a person could treat or manage themselves. We need a new culture of care where people stop and think before calling the doctor. Help us to help you (when you will need us the most).