View Full Version : NHS guidelines on advice and treatment

26-May-11, 08:56
Where to go when you have a health problem
KNOWING where to go to get help for a range of health problems is vitally important but research by the NHS in Scotland shows that many people are missing out on important sources of advice and treatment.
By knowing who to turn to when you are ill and getting help from the right person you are more likely to receive the help you need sooner.
Analysis has shown, that in a year at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness 50% of all attendances were people who had self-referred presented with a minor injury or ailment and were discharged without a need for follow-up or were discharged to their GP. Across the whole of NHS Highland, this equates to more than 25000 attendances at A&E. Research in other areas in Scotland shows that most people who self-refer, have taken no advice before attending (76%).
In line with this, a national initiative is ongoing to increase awareness in the general public of the different parts of the health service and to encourage use of the most appropriate service for their health needs.
As part of this, NHS Highland today launched an information campaign, encouraging people to use all the NHS services available to them. Already launched in Caithness this is a Highland-wide project to improve the efficiency of services to make sure patients are receiving the best possible care.
Campaign spokesperson Dr Adrian Baker said: “Knowing who to turn to when you are sick or injured, ensures you get speedy help and all NHS services run efficiently. While there will always be a need to use A&E for accidents, trauma and major illness, we know some people are taking nagging problems and minor illnesses to emergency staff when they could be seen by a pharmacist, GP, dentist or optician.”
A leaflet detailing sources of care, advice and treatment is being distributed in the A&E departments at Raigmore, Caithness General Hospital in Wick and Belford Hospital in Fort William. It will also be available from GP surgeries, dental surgeries as well as a number of community buildings including libraries.
The leaflets provide details of the healthcare options available and the type of conditions most effectively treated by the following NHS services:
• Emergency Department / 999
• Minor Injuries Service
• NHS Out of Hours Service (NHS24)
• GP
• Dentist
• Optician
• Pharmacist
The campaign also highlights the role of self care in the treatment of illnesses, such as sore throats and colds.
Recognising that not everyone feels confident in their ability to diagnose an urgent matter the leaflet promotes the advice available from pharmacists and NHS 24. The leaflet is available on the NHS Highland website and will be promoted through bus and radio advertising.
Dr Baker said: “A&E departments are highly visible and we need to increase awareness of other sources of help for less urgent problems, to allow urgent and more major cases to be seen without delay.”
Members of the public are also being encouraged to fill in an online survey (www.surveymonkey.com/s/VWMDQML (http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/VWMDQML)) to not only help them think about where would be the best place to go but to also help NHS Highland understand what knowledge is already out there and what we need to further develop.
Hardcopies of the survey are available, please contact 01463 706800 to request a copy.