In October this year, a new campaign launched to bust myths and address misconceptions about primary care services.
A wide range of primary care services exist, to help keep people fit and healthy. These include pharmacies, local practice, Doncaster Same Day Health Centre, the GP out of hour’s service and community nurses. So whatever issue or complaint people have, there is always a service that can provide the right information, support, advice and treatment.
Like other areas across the country, many people continue to use the emergency department unnecessarily because they don’t always know where to go for help. Some of these reasons include lack of awareness of what services exist and the perception of attending the emergency department being a quicker alternative.
Today, a key phase of the campaign has launched, focussing specifically on helping people to choose the most appropriate health and care service for their needs. Some of these services include:
- Local pharmacy – for a range of minor illnesses and ailments, you can visit your local pharmacy who can offer help, advice and treatment. They are on your doorstep and a key part of our primary care family
- Local practice – made up of a wide range of health and care professionals, you can contact your local practice. Many are open early morning, evening and weekends
- More Choice, More Appointments service – if you call your practice and you can’t get an appointment, ask your care navigators about the More Choice, More Appointments service, which offers 160 extra hours per week of GP and nurse appointments. These appointments are open to all local practices and registered patients
- Doncaster’s Same Day Health Centre – offering same day appointments, to all registered patients in Doncaster
- Doncaster GP out of hours service – Open from 6pm until 8am daily, the Doncaster GP out of hours service provides GP and nurse led appointments
- Urgent Treatment Centre– based at Montagu Hospital in Mexborough, they can treat a range of minor injuries and illnesses and is available to everyone.
Dr David Crichton, local GP and Clinical Chair, NHS Doncaster CCG said: “This phase of the primary care campaign is a particularly important one, which launches at a crucial time.
“As winter approaches, we see more people accessing local health and care services for help, advice and treatment for a range of reasons. This campaign not only provides everyone with information and advice about what services are available, it will also help to reduce the number of people who go to the emergency department unnecessarily.
“It is important that the emergency department should only be used for emergency and lifesaving treatments.
“If people are unsure, please contact NHS 111 for advice before going to the emergency department.”
In addition to raising awareness of the wide range of primary care services that exist, five other themes are helping to focus on primary care services as a whole:
- Highlighting the vast range of health and care professionals that exist in primary care, from pharmacists through to health care assistants. This will help people to understand they don’t always need to see their local GP, there are many appointments available with nurses, clinical practitioners and others to provide help, support, advise and treat
- Raising awareness of Primary Care Networks, choice and access to local GP and nurse appointments
- Focussing on the importance of self-care
- Improving access and use of digital tools in primary care – helping to increase the use of Apps and online tools to contact local practices and find out where local health and care services are, and
- Making the best use of primary buildings and facilities, showing how we will collectively maintain and improve sites in the future.
Nick Hunter, Chief Officer of Doncaster’s Local Pharmaceutical Committee said: “I am delighted the campaign has fully acknowledged the skill, knowledge and expertise of pharmacists in Doncaster, reminding people they can visit their local pharmacy if they need information, support, advice and treatment for minor conditions and ailments.
“Whether it’s a cough, cold, sore throat, sting or even a flu jab, people can visit their local pharmacy at a time to suit them, quite often, close to home. I encourage everyone to get behind and find out more about this important campaign so everyone can make best use of local health and care services.”