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Local people pledge support for NHS in Bedfordshire with Choose Well

31 March 2015


More than 300 local people made personal pledges over the winter to do their bit for the local NHS by making responsible choices for urgent NHS care and looking after themselves.  Over 75% of those who made a pledge said they would use A&E only in a real emergency.

Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group’s (BCCG) Choose Well campaign aimed to raise awareness of the different urgent care services available and relieve pressure on busy hospitals.

BCCG’s Governing Body member for Patient and Public Involvement, Alison Borrett, said:

“This winter the NHS has been under intense pressure, and the Choose Well campaign has supported health and social care partners to manage very high demand for urgent healthcare. We are delighted that members of the public have signed up to do their bit to support their local NHS. By making a responsible pledge, local people have really helped the county-wide effort by NHS staff and social care partners to support GPs and Bedford Hospital.  It has all contributed to the hospital being one of the very best in the region and bucking a national trend in meeting A&E waiting times.

A number of well-known faces also supported the CCG’s pledge campaign to Choose Well.

They included actors Robert and Amy Daws, Mayor of Bedford Dave Hodgson, Bedford Blues Rugby Club and Bedford Town Football Team

Choose Well pledges made by local residents included: eating sensibly; drink in moderation; exercise, eat five a day, wrap up warm in cold weather, have the flu jab and keep an eye on elderly relatives.

Names of those making pledges were entered into a prize draw to win a £10 voucher.  BCCG thanks local businesses including Sainsbury’s, Kidsworld and Loyds Pharmacies for donating the prizes. 

Notes to editors

·         How to choose well:

-       Hangover, grazed knee, sore throat, cough – choose self-care. A well stocked first-aid kit including paracetamol, anti-diarrhoea medicine and thermometer

-       Tummy ache, running nose, persistent headache – choose your local pharmacy (chemist)

-       Illness or injury that won’t go away – choose your GP. A GP is available 24-hours a day. Even if you think the surgery is closed, ring your GP surgery for the emergency GP number.

-       Cuts, strains, itches, sprains – choose the walk-in clinic. Open seven days a week, no appointment needed. Putnoe Walk-in Centre, 93, Queens Drive, Bedford MK41 9JE. Tel 01234 221977.

-       Choking, chest pain, blacking out, blood loss  - choose A&E or dial 999 for serious illnesses and major accidents

·         BCCG would like to thank all the local businesses that donated a £10 voucher

·         Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group is responsible for planning, organising and buying NHS-funded healthcare for the 441,000 people who live in Bedfordshire. This includes hospital, community health and mental health services

·         In 2014-2015, BCCG has a budget of approximately £440m to spend on healthcare services for Bedfordshire. In January this year, BCCG announced that it was forecasting a deficit of between £26m and £34m for this financial year (2014/15). Earlier this month, BCCG confirmed that its forecast deficit had risen to up to £40m.

·         Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group is responsible for planning, organising and buying NHS-funded healthcare for the 441,000 people who live in Bedfordshire. This includes hospital, community health and mental health services.

·         BCCG is run by GPs, nurses, hospital doctors and other clinicians – the people you see whenever you come into contact with the NHS. All 55 GP practices in Bedfordshire are members of the CCG which is divided into five areas, which we call localities. These are: Bedford, Chiltern Vale, Leighton Buzzard, Ivel Valley and West Mid Bedfordshire and all of the 55 GP practices in Bedfordshire are members.

·         You can read more about how BCCG is organised in our constitution. It explains how we operate, make decisions and our governance structures and processes. You can also read our corporate plan which sets out our priorities and aims for 2014-15.

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