Health leaders across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight are urging people to “choose well” this summer.
Local people are being asked to think carefully about the support they need and reminded of the healthcare services available to them to on their doorstep.
The NHS is always there for anyone who needs help, but it is more important than ever that people think carefully about where to get the help they need.
It comes as GP surgeries, NHS 111, Emergency Departments (ED), mental health services, ambulance crews and call handlers – staff in all sectors of the NHS in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight – continue to see a sustained trend of rising demand after the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr Derek Sandeman, Chief Medical Officer at Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care System, said: “We are incredibly grateful for public’s continued support. NHS staff across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight remain absolutely focused on doing what they do so brilliantly - working incredibly hard to support all those who rely on them so much. I know I speak on behalf of colleagues from all parts of the NHS when I say that we are all so grateful for the backing we have received.
“The best way that people can continue to show that support is by thinking carefully about the help they need and choosing well – not just to help the staff, but to help themselves get the right help, quickly. Emergency Departments will always be there for anyone facing a really serious or life-threatening emergency, but for everyone else there are excellent options which are quicker, and more convenient.
Your local NHS has put together a useful guide to help support you in staying well and receive the right care in the right place in a timely way when you need it.
Advice includes staying safe in the sun, useful information on preparing for a trip away and self-care, including how to look after your mental health.
There is information on where you can find your nearest pharmacy, urgent care and minor injuries unit and mental health support services including where to get advice if you or someone you know is in crisis.
There is also information on where to get support for common childhood illnesses, and a reminder about using the 111 online service for urgent care that is not life threatening.
Dr Sandeman added: “Pharmacies can provide a huge range of medicines and expert advice, close to home. Using the NHS 111 service – either online, or by phone – lets the NHS do the thinking for you, and will direct you straight to the right place for your needs. All GP surgeries offer ‘on the day’ services as well as routine appointments, and all can be contacted online, or by phone. There are treatment centres across our area which often give people a more local alternative to waiting in ED.
“Thinking carefully about the service you need will help ensure you receive the right care in the right place, in a timely way."