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Newham GPs urge residents to think before they go to A&E over Easter

Dr Zuhair Zarifa Dr Zuhair Zarifa

Thursday, April 17, 2014
9:49 AM

GPs are asking people to make sure they know who to turn to for the right care – and not to go to A&E unless they have a serious life threatening injury or illness.

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Dr Zuhair Zarifa, chair of NHS Newham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), and a local GP said: “This Easter weekend is a time for relaxing and having fun. If you do get ill the NHS is still on hand to help and it is worth knowing in advance what services are on offer.

“Every year, hundreds of thousands of people wait for hours in A&E when they could have got quicker and more appropriate treatment closer to home. GPs out of hours services, walk-in centres, and many local pharmacies will be open over the weekend. This also frees up A&E for people with the most serious injuries and illnesses.

“If you’re unsure, the NHS 111 service will be able to direct you to the right place.”

A spokeswoman for Newham CCG said walk-in or urgent care services can treat most minor injuries that are urgent, but not life threatening - including suspected broken bones, cuts and rashes as well as minor burns, bruises, bites and stings. These centres may even be closer to home than your local A&E department, saving time and minimising disruption.

Many common illnesses such as coughs or colds can be best and most easily treated by visiting your local pharmacy. Your pharmacist can offer advice on how to best look after yourself at home with rest and over the counter treatments.

If you are unwell outside of your GPs normal opening hours you can call the Newham out of hours GP cooperative service on 020 7511 8880 and they will direct you to the best service for your condition.

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