Don’t wait at A&E on a Saturday – visit your GP practice instead

People are being urged not to wait at A&E if they have an urgent health problem on Saturdays during January – as many GP practices in Bradford are open extra hours to see patients.

Thanks to funding from Bradford City and Bradford Districts Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) many practices are open on every Saturday in January.

Being ill is never fun, especially over winter; that’s why people across Bradford are being urged to get prepared as part of the local NHS Stay Well campaign.

Instead of waiting at A&E with an urgent health problem, patients should check if their practice is open and get an appointment there.

Details of which practices in Bradford City and Districts CCGs are open on Saturdays are available on the following websites:
• www.bradfordcityccg.nhs.uk/your-health/your-local-nhs-services-christmas-new-year/
• www.bradforddistrictsccg.nhs.uk/your-health/your-local-nhs-services-christmas-new-year/

Practices will also have this information on their websites, NHS Choices and in reception areas. Some practices routinely open on Saturdays but during January many more patients will be able to access urgent healthcare from their local surgery.

Helping people make the right choice about which health service to use not only benefits themselves, but also helps doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals in making sure people receive the right care over the festive period.

Dr Aamer Khan, urgent care lead for Bradford City CCG, said: “It’s really good news that so many practices in Bradford are opening on Saturdays throughout January, which is one of the busiest months of the year for the NHS. Patients of practices which are not open will still be able to access urgent care through the NHS 111 service, instead of waiting at A&E when they don’t need to.
“Demand on emergency services increases dramatically at this time of year, so it is important that patients stop and think: does this injury or illness really require emergency treatment?  Many winter health problems can be solved by staying at home and taking over the counter cold and flu remedies. Unnecessary trips to A&E not only put a strain on NHS resources but also put others lives at risk.”
There are many different ways that people can get help themselves get the right treatment and allow busy NHS services to help the people who need them most.

The options are:

• Self care – look after yourself at home with a well-stocked medicine cabinet
• Pharmacist (chemist) – for expert advice on common illnesses and the best medicines to treat them
• GP (Doctor) – for illnesses that just won’t go away, arrange to see your doctor
• Call 111 – if you need urgent healthcare, contact NHS 111 which will help you access the local service that can help you best
• A&E or 999 – only if you need very urgent medical attention.
People are also urged to visit: www.nhsstaywell.org – a new website which is an easy-to-access resource for a range of information, aimed at helping people enjoy good health during the winter.