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Use your NHS wisely this winter

People in Bradford, Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven are being reminded Accident and Emergency (A&E) departments should only be used for serious or life-threatening condition. 

NHS Airedale Wharfedale and Craven, Bradford Districts and Bradford City Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are asking people to choose wisely when it comes to deciding which health service to use.

Local A&E departments and emergency services are particularly busy at the moment; as are most areas across the UK.

They are not the best place to receive treatment quickly, unless you are experiencing a serious or life-threatening condition. Those attending A&E will be triaged and then cared for in order of severity. If you do attend for something that isn’t an emergency, you could find you’re in for a long wait.


Dr David Tatham, GP and clinical lead for urgent and emergency care at the CCGs said: “The demand for services at our hospitals and A&E departments is very high at this time of year and we need to make sure only the people needing emergency medical help attend.

“Teams at Airedale General and Bradford Royal Infirmary Hospital are working incredibly hard to deliver high quality patient care and we want to make sure our A&E departments are there for those people most in need.

“We can all do our bit to make sure we reduce the we don’t put unnecessary pressure on our emergency services such as the ambulance service.

Stacey Hunter, chief operating officer of Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“Members of the public can continue to help by only using A&E for a genuine emergency such as severe chest pain, difficulty breathing, severe bleeding, serious head injuries and broken bones. 

“People who feel they need urgent medical advice or treatment, but don’t have a life-threatening problem or have had a serious accident should seek advice from NHS 111,, from their pharmacist and from their GP. This then enables our Emergency Department team to focus on our most poorly patients.” 

Common winter ailments will get better on their own and there is no prescribed medication to make them go away any quicker. If you need advice you can visit your local pharmacy, who can provide friendly, expert advice on common health conditions such as diarrhoea, a runny nose or a painful cough or headache.”

You can also get advice from the NHS Choices website – – or visit your GP.”

Most healthy people with a bad cold or flu do not need to see their GP, do not need to attend A&E and absolutely do not need to call 999. If you it is serious and you are not sure but it isn’t life threatening, dial 111.

Colds, sore throats, headaches, hangovers, upset stomachs, coughs, aches, pains, and winter vomiting should all be treated at home ,or with the advice of your local pharmacist, with painkillers, rest and plenty of fluids. To find your nearest GP surgery or pharmacy, visit the NHS Choices website -

To find out more about how you can care for yourself or someone at home who has a common illness this winter, such as a cough or cold, visit

Some pharmacies are open over bank holidays and weekends. For a list of opening times please visit the CCGs’ websites:, or

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