Health chiefs launch campaign to ease the strain on A&E departments

Central Middlesex Hospital

Central Middlesex Hospital - Credit: Archant

Residents are being urged to visit their GP for non-emergency cases

Health chiefs have launched an awareness campaign to help residents get the best possible treatment and ease the strain on Accident and Emergency (A&E) departments.

Called Choose Well and launched by NHS Brent Clinical Commissioning Group, it aims to explain to people how best to receive the care they need.

The campaign wants to educate the public about their local NHS services and what is best for their medical needs.

It makes it clear that A&E and 999 services are for life-threatening and serious incidents only, and promotes self-care and the use of high street pharmacies for common complaints.

With the impending closure of Central Middlesex Hospital’s Accident and Emergency, emergency services are currently under intense scrutiny in the borough,

Under plans called Shaping a Healthier Future, the unit, in Acton Lane, Harlesden, will definitely close despite the fact it underwent a £62m rebuild just six years ago.

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However, campaigners have expressed concern whether the A&E department at Northwick Park Hospital in Watford Road, Sudbury, will be able to cope with the expected increase in visitors.

Dr Ethie Kong, local GP and chair of NHS Brent Clinical Commissioning Group, said of Choose Well: “We all want to know that if we’re ill, or if any of our family is ill, we can get the care we need quickly.”

She added: “Unless you have a life-threatening emergency, need hospital admission or investigation, have broken bones or serious injury, the best care is not always hospital.

“Your local pharmacist can provide lots of advice and treatment, including information about common conditions such as minor infections, aches, colds and allergies.

“Your own GP has years of experience of dealing with all types of medical problems and has your medical records to hand so is often a better choice than a busy casualty department.”

n For self care at home you can visit and for any help or advice you can always call NHS Direct on 0845 4647.