People in Bolton are being asked if they can ‘be the difference’ when it comes to choosing the right NHS service this winter.
The NHS in Bolton, which includes NHS Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, has launched a new information website to help people make the right choice when it comes to seeking help for their health concerns.
The website, www.bethedifferencebolton.info/, features practical information on when to go to Accident and Emergency, contact your GP practice, visit a local pharmacist or practice self-care at home. It also includes advice about when to call NHS 111 or the out-of-hours GP service.
Local clinicians appeal directly to the public in a series of videos, asking them to ‘Think Twice’ before attending or contacting local NHS services.
There is also a handy leaflet that can be downloaded from the website. Printed copies of the Think Twice leaflet will be available soon in the local community.
Chairman of Bolton CCG, Dr Niruban Ratnarajah, said: “Each year we are faced with the challenges of winter in the NHS, as coughs and colds, influenza, Norovirus, and now Covid-19, all have an impact on the capacity and resilience of our services.
“This year, more than ever, the NHS is expecting a tough few months ahead and we need the help of all our residents in Bolton to get through this period. The website, leaflet, social media campaign and a series of articles in the local press are aimed at providing people with important information about how we are operating at the moment due to Covid and the challenges that we face, along with practical advice on where to go and when, if your family needs help from us.
“We are all working differently, but we are still here for you! Often people can look after their illnesses at home, or they might benefit from a consultation with their pharmacist, which enables us to prioritise those who are vulnerable and in most need of medical help.”
“A&E has never been busier, and we need your help to make sure that the people who urgently need our emergency services are given priority. The new Think Twice campaign and website will be able to help people make the right choices when it comes to the care they need,” says Rae Wheatcroft, Designate Chief Operating Officer, Royal Bolton NHS Foundation Trust.
“Everyone who is admitted to hospital from our A&E needs to be here, but with the high demand we are currently experiencing and with many people still attending A&E with minor ailments that can be seen to by using alternative services, we are finding it more and more difficult to treat those in genuine need in a timely way.
“A&E is always here for you when you need it, but please think twice if your condition isn’t life threatening and speak to your GP or pharmacist.”