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Birmingham and Solihull Mental health NHS Foundation Trust
Better Together

Choose well over winter

The NHS is entering its busiest time of the year, winter.This is when people, more than ever, need A&E. We know that if temperatures fall below 12 degrees celsius this increases the risk of respiratory problems and the number of people who have heart attacks and strokes goes up. Bad weather can affect pavements and we see more breaks and fractures. Hazardous driving conditions can result in more road traffic accidents. These are situations where people will really need A&E. So we need the public to help us keep NHS services free to treat emergency cases. We need people to choose NHS services well.

Data tells us that 12 per cent of people admit to having used A&E in the past even when they knew there was nothing seriously wrong with them; and that 18 per cent of GP workload is for common complaints such as coughs, sore-throats, dandruff and travel sickness.
Local people can make a difference this winter and help NHS teams to make sure they have the time to treat people with life-threatening and serious conditions, such as heart attacks, strokes, breathing problems and serious accidents. Anyone with a common complaint should go and see their local pharmacy for advice and help. There is also some really useful information online.
NHS Choices www.nhs.uk is a free-to-use online resource, with information about symptoms and advice for treating common complaints; you can also search for your local NHS services, including pharmacies, walk-in-centres, urgent care centres and so on. A mobile-phone friendly web-link has also been created – you could download it and pass it on to your friends and family - http://bit.ly/nhsnwQR
Choose well over winter