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Patients urged to think before calling 999
6:00pm Saturday 2nd June 2012 in News
HEALTH chiefs are urging residents to think before contacting NHS services ahead of an expected surge in demand over the bank holiday break.
A spokesman for NHS Oxfordshire, responsible for community health services, said people should have a well-stocked medicine cabinet.
He said common conditions like an upset stomach, coughs, colds and flu-like symptoms can be dealt with at pharmacies.
Others should consider whether they need to call 999 or use the GP out-of-hours service, minor injuries unit or A&E, he said.
South East clinical commissioning lead Dr Andrew Burnett said: “We need to keep A&E departments free for those people who are extremely unwell and need urgent medical attention. If patients present at A&E with conditions they could have managed with support from the excellent services available in the community, they use up valuable resources.”
The out-of-hours service is on 0845 345 8995. Medical advice is available via NHS Direct on 0845 4647.
For details of open pharmacies, see the information panel on page four or visit tinyurl.com/cv6efq6