NHS Lothian in A&E plea

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NHS Lothian has launched a campaign to make sure patients know where to get help if they are sick or injured this winter.

The “Not Just A&E” campaign is designed to help patients get the right care in the right place and ensure that the emergency department is able to focus on treating people in life-threatening situations.

Emergency departments in Lothian are busier than ever before and “Not Just A&E” is designed to remind patients of the other expert options available. It urges patients to consider minor injuries units, pharmacists, optometrists, dentists and their GP. And if they are looking for help at night or on weekends to remember to use NHS 24.

Jacquie Campbell, chief officer of Acute Services, NHS Lothian, said: “We know that it can be confusing to know where to get help and often patients may find themselves in A&E because they are not sure of the alternatives.

“We want to make sure everyone knows all of the options available to them – very often that service is available faster and closer to home. The message is especially important over the festive holidays when some services are limited and we would urge patient to think before they go to A&E and ask themselves if they could be treated elsewhere.”

The campaign is part of a £3.4 million winter plan being rolled out across NHS Lothian to make sure patients can access care during one of the busiest times of the year.

A full directory of services and the types of injuries or illnesses that can be treated is listed on NHS Lothian’s website – www.nhslothian.scot.nhs.uk. Patients are also urged to use NHS Inform – detailing services on their doorstep, just by using their postcode. Go to www.nhsinform.scot/