45 residents each day using the Emergency Department who did not need to be there

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People are being urged to think carefully before going to the Emergency Department, this Easter, after analysis by NHS Cornwall found that, on average, 45 local residents arrive in ED each day who don’t need to be admitted and haven’t first tried to access care elsewhere.

For anything other than a life-threatening emergency, people can avoid the wait and worry of a trip to ED by using NHS 111 online or by phone, contacting their GP practice or seeing a community pharmacist.

Community pharmacies have private rooms and can give you a same day telephone or in-person consultation. Your GP practice may offer you a referral to a local pharmacy of your choice, or you can simply walk in.

Your notes are added to your GP patient record, and if you do need to see another healthcare professional they can make the necessary arrangements.

Rosie McDermott is a pharmacist based in Penzance.

short video where Rosie talks about community pharmacy

She says: “This is just one of the ways that the NHS, GP practices and community pharmacy teams are working together, to get you the right care, closer to your home, when you need it.”

You may be surprised just how many things a pharmacy can help you with. From the familiar asks such as remedies for coughs and colds, bites and stings, hay fever, rashes and minor infections, through to travel vaccinations, blood pressure checks and emergency contraception.

Local pharmacies can provide antibiotics for some conditions and can even arrange an emergency supply of repeat medicines if you run out at a time when your own GP practice is unable to issue a prescription.

Pharmacists are highly skilled experts who have completed 5 years of university study followed by a practical qualification.

Rosie continues: “I don’t think people realise how much pharmacies can do and how helpful they are, and we give out a lot of advice.”

People can also help by having a well-stocked first aid kit for no fuss self-care at home, and using NHS 111 online to access a minor injury unit (MIU) for sprains, strains, cuts and suspected broken bones.

You can search online for MIU wait times or download the NHSquicker free app, which provides live waiting and travel times to estimate how long it will take you to be seen.

For worries about your own or someone else’s mental health, Cornwall‘s mental health support line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 0800 038 5300.

If you are ever unsure, it is best to use 111 online or call 111 and you will be directed to the right service for you.

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