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Bedfordshire health professionals urge residents to avoid A&E unless their condition is serious or life threatening.

22 July 2016


Following this week’s high temperatures which have seen high numbers attending A&E with minor injuries, health professionals in Bedfordshire are appealing to people to avoid A&E unless their condition is serious or life threatening.

Ensuring people can access the right care at the right time not only saves unnecessary, lengthy waits in hospital, it also means that genuine serious accidents and emergencies can be dealt with quicker.

Local health commissioners are issuing a reminder of the different ways that people can access help and advice. This includes using their GP, pharmacist, walk-in centres or NHS 111 to ease the demand on local hospital services.

High street pharmacists are a useful first port of call, especially as they can offer clinical advice without an appointment.

General practitioners (GPs) can provide a wide range of health services and support for a range of illnesses or injuries. Nurses and health care assistants often work alongside the GPs to help support patients' everyday health.

GP out of hours services in Bedfordshire offer all of the services that a GP offers during the day. To contact your GP out of hours service all you need to do is call your practice's daytime number and you will be directed where to go or call.

The NHS Walk-in centre at Putnoe, Bedford is open 8.30am – 6.00pm every day including holidays.

NHS 111 can also offer advice 24 hours a day, seven days a week – just dial 111 free of charge from a mobile or landline.

Notes to editors

·         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.

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