People in Bradford District and Craven asked to use their NHS wisely

Use your NHS wisely so it is sustainable and fit for the future. That’s the message from the three local NHS clinical commissioning groups (CCGs): Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven, Bradford City and Bradford Districts.

The campaign is part of It’s Your NHS, Don’t Waste It which was launched in September 2016 to get people thinking about different ways in which they could help make their NHS work better for them.

There are three key things the CCGs are asking people to do; looking after yourself for short-term common illnesses, choosing the right service, and making sure appointments are cancelled if they are no longer needed.

For short-term common illnesses, many people still book an appointment with their GP or go to A&E. Often the best way to get better quickly is to look after yourself, go to your pharmacist if you need support and use the NHS Choices websitewww.nhs.uk

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Dr Taz Aldawoud, clinical board member and lead for self-care and prevention at NHS Bradford Districts CCG, said: “It’s still surprising how many people we see coming to their GP practice for self-limiting minor ailments when most can be managed at home using support from the NHS Choices website and pharmacies. Pharmacists are a great first port of call if you’re unsure if you need to see a GP as they are highly trained professionals who are experts in medicines and minor illnesses. Many people don’t realise that they can also drop into a pharmacy without an appointment and many are open longer hours than GP practices.”

If people need to visit a service for treatment or advice they are asked to think about if it is the right service based on how urgent their health need is.

People can also help their NHS by cancelling appointments if they no longer need them. One in 10 appointments in our area are not attended by patients, across the NHS this wastes over £300 million every year. If these appointments were cancelled in advance, they can be offered to people who need them the most and help reduce waste.

Dr Akram Khan, clinical chair at NHS Bradford City CCG, said: “If you go for an appointment at your GP practice and get a prescription, it costs your NHS around £45 and if you choose to go to A&E, your NHS pays £125 per visit. But, it costs nothing for people to be empowered to manage their own health and wellbeing whenever possible. By encouraging people to pick the right service it means that they get the right care at the right time whilst helping NHS services become sustainable for the future.”

It’s Your NHS, Don’t Waste It is part of the Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention (QIPP) programme which is all about providing real value for money while making every patient journey in the NHS count.