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A&E won't kiss it better

Injured or unwell? Don't just go to A&E

Your local Accident and Emergency (A&E) department is under severe pressure because of the numbers of patients attending the department, often with common health problems that can be better treated elsewhere.  To help raise awareness, the “A&E won’t kiss it better”’ campaign is being rolled out across Sutton this winter.

Kiss It Better Page

The campaign will remind local people that A&E is not for common health problems, often associated with the colder weather, like coughs and colds but for serious and life-threatening emergencies like loss of consciousness.  You’ll find it hard to miss NHS Sutton CCG’s very own family of eye-catching yellow statues who will be leading the campaign this New Year to tell you about alternatives for conditions that are not life-threatening.  You can catch them on posters on buses and on posters and leaflets in your GP practice, your local pharmacy and other locations across the borough. 

Dr Jonathan Cockbain, local GP and Urgent Care Clinical Lead for NHS Sutton CCG is reminding local people that A&E is for serious emergencies only. “Hospitals are very busy places all year round, but particularly in the winter months. Every day doctors and nurses who specialise in life-threatening illness spend their time dealing with people who have coughs, back ache, diarrhoea and other minor illnesses.

“Many people forget that A&E is for serious emergencies only.  But there are many other options”.

  • For minor injuries and illnesses, you can look after yourself with a well-stocked medicine cupboard and first aid materials
  • If you are feeling under the weather and you are not getting better, get early advice.  Minor illnesses can get worse quickly – especially if you are over 60. Visit your local pharmacist for quick and easy access to health advice and recommended treatments for winter illnesses. If they are concerned about your condition, they will advise you to see your GP.  Your local pharmacist can also supply medicines for selected minor ailments without a GP prescription.  
  • Your GP is your first port of call for on-going illnesses or injuries. We know your medical history and we provide a range of services by appointment. 
  • If you need urgent health advice but it's not an emergency? Call NHS 111 and they will direct you to the most appropriate service for you.  You should also call NHS 111 when the GP surgery is closed.
  • You can visit a local GP-led walk-in centre
  • Please only call 999 or visit A&E if you have a very serious/life threatening illness or injury.

So, if you’re feeling unwell and don’t know where to turn, don’t worry.  NHS Suttons CCG’s campaign highlights where you can get expert advice and treatment from local health services. Find your nearest service by visiting www.nhs.uk and entering your symptoms and postcode or download a local services guide from NHS Sutton CCG’s website.