Health bosses are urging people across the Five Towns to get prepared for winter with the launch of the Choose Well campaign.
NHS Wakefield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has launched the campaign to encourage people to stop, think and choose the right sort of care for their symptoms, to help them get better faster and reduce needless visits to busy A&E departments.
Dr Adam Sheppard, a local GP, said: “Helping people make the right choice in accessing services will not only benefit themselves, but also help our doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals in making sure people receive the right care.”
Healthcare options include self care at home with a well-stocked medicine cabinet, the 111 24-hour helpline, pharmacies for expert advice on common illnesses, GP and A&E for immediate, life-saving care.
Dr Sheppard added: “Choosing the right service for your symptoms is the key. Many minor ailments can be self-treated and your pharmacist can help provide you with the advice and over the counter medicines
“For illnesses that just won’t go away, then your GP should be your first point of contact, and across the Wakefield district we have increased the number of available GP appointments to make it easier for you to see your GP.
“Demand on emergency services increases dramatically during the winter months, so it is important that patients stop and think – does this injury or illness really require emergency medical treatment.
“Many winter health problems can be solved by staying at home and taking over the counter cold and flu remedies.”
Flu vaccinations are also available from GP practices for those who are eligible.
The CCG also advises stocking medicine cabinets with items including pain relief like paracetamol, liquid painkillers for children, mild laxatives, rehydration mixtures, indigestion remedy, travel sickness tablets, tweezers and scissors, a thermometer, a range of bandages, plasters, bandages and dressings.