Keep choosing ‘where is best’ while health and care services critical incident continues

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Health and care staff in Cornwall are asking local residents to choose ‘where is best’ for them this weekend, as the critical incident declared last Sunday (21 Jan) continues.

Staff across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly are working tirelessly together to ensure patients get the health and care support they need.

Over the weekend, and throughout the week ahead, there are many NHS services that can help residents, if they need health and care services:

  • You can get medical advice from one of our 90 local pharmacists, including at some supermarkets
  • Visit one of our 10 minor injury units. They stay open over the weekend and evenings with no appointment needed, they can help with sprains, strains, cuts that need stiches, arm, foot and leg injuries and broken bones
  • Our urgent treatment centre at West Cornwall Hospital is open until midnight and can help with deep cuts, fractures, minor falls and non-life threatening head injuries
  • The NHS 111 online and phone service is always available 24-7 – so if you are unsure go online to get advice and request a call back. Online is always quicker.
  • Mental health support from Cornwall’s 24/7 mental health helpline: 0800 038 5300

We ask that you only visit our emergency department or call 999 if you have a life-threatening condition, as our staff need to focus on caring for people who need their help the most.

Thank you to our patients and their families for their patience and understanding as we prioritise those in need of the most urgent care.

Saltash resident Bob Burgess took that advice when he broke his ankle before Christmas. Bob was treated at Bodmin minor injury unit, without needing an appointment, and was back home within a few hours, where he has been supported by adult social care staff and his neighbours.

Bob said: “We were told it was a three hour wait, but I was seen in less than two hours, X-rayed, put into plaster and then sent on my way home.”

Our network of minor injury units and the urgent treatment centre at West Cornwall Hospital are open 7 days a week, including evenings.  You can check opening hours, which ones have X-ray facilities and live wait times online.  Advice on urgent health issues is also available by contacting NHS 111 online or by phone.

Local pharmacists can also offer advice, provide over the counter medications and support with prescriptions.

Nick Kaye, local pharmacist, Chair of the National Pharmacy Association and NHS Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Integrated Care Board member said: “All our health services across Cornwall are extremely stretched. Your local community pharmacy teams are there to help and you can access health care for lots of conditions, which means you may not have to go to places like accident and emergency.

“They can supply you with an emergency supply of medication for things like urine infections, coughs, colds and earaches. Also, they are a great place for quick and immediate advice.”

Family and friends of people in hospital can also help by collecting their loved ones as soon as they are fit for discharge. Fast access one-off grants known as personal health budgets can by used towards expenses or equipment to help you get a relative or friend home from hospital.

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