Winter is traditionally the busiest time of year for the NHS, and so patients are being reminded to only use Emergency Departments in Oxford and Banbury in an emergency.
There are a range of alternative options available for non-emergency situations to ensure you get the appropriate care you need, and save an unnecessary trip to the Emergency Department.
- Self-care is the best choice for minor illnesses and injuries – a range of common winter ailments can be treated at home with a well-stocked medicine cabinet. Having a winter plan – such as keeping stocked up on medicines, keeping your home warm, and looking out for neighbours – can also be beneficial.
- Local pharmacies can give advice on several conditions, such as coughs, headaches, upset stomachs and skin conditions, as well as advise on stopping coughs and colds from getting worse.
- NHS 111 has call handlers who can help you choose the right health services for your needs, as well as a website. NHS 111 can put you in touch with a clinician, a GP, book you an appointment at your nearest minor injuries unit. You can also use NHS 111 online 111.nhs.uk
- Minor injuries units can treat deep cuts, small burns, sprains, sports injuries, and infected wounds. To find out your nearest MIU please visit the Oxford Health website
- Your local GP may offer extended opening hours into the evening or at the weekend.
Most importantly, only attend Emergency Departments when there is a genuine emergency, such as loss of consciousness, suspected heart attack or stroke, severe breathing difficulties, or severe bleeding that cannot be stopped.