Monthly Archives: December 2014

Public urged to think before they dial 999

Only use your ambulance service in an emergency this New Year

Ambulance bosses are again appealing for people in the North East to use their emergency service wisely over the New Year.

New Year’s Eve in particular is traditionally the busiest night of the year for the service. 

Last new year the service responded to over 2,400 incidents on the 31st December and 1st January, 690 of which were between 6pm on New Year’s Eve and 6am on New Year’s Day.

Chief Operating Officer Paul Liversidge warns that 999 calls for trivial incidents and minor conditions can potentially put those with life-threatening illnesses and injuries at risk by diverting ambulances elsewhere.

He said:  “We ask that people who are celebrating tonight think before each drink and stay safe – don’t put yourselves or others at risk.  Please drink sensibly – you can still have a good time. Be aware of how much you’re drinking, eat beforehand, plan transport home, get well wrapped up and look after yourself and your friends.

“Please leave your car at home and if you know you’re going to be driving the next day, know your limits and make sure you are free of the effects of alcohol by the time you get behind the wheel.

“Lastly, remember that the 999 number should only be used in serious medical emergencies.  Our valuable resources must be available for those who need them most. Your hangover shouldn’t cost somebody else’s life.”

On New Year’s Eve the ambulance service is running various initiatives across the region to ensure people with alcohol-related illnesses and injuries don’t place too much pressure on the Service and on hospital emergency departments.

People who require treatment or advice for a minor illness or injury should consider other more appropriate healthcare services available to them such as self-care, pharmacists, GP surgeries, urgent care centres or NHS 111.  Only call 999 when someone is in need of time-critical life-saving help.   For more information about NHS services available near you visit NHS Choices at http://www.nhs.uk.

Examples of medical emergencies include chest pain, difficulty in breathing, unconsciousness, severe loss of blood, severe burns, choking, fitting or concussion, drowning and severe allergic reactions.

A regional Keep Calm campaign aims to help provide people with more information about what to do in a non-emergency.

Visit keepcalmthiswinter.org.uk for further information. You can also follow the campaign on Twitter @keepcalmne

For more information, please contact the NEAS Press Office on 0191 430 2099

 

 


Public asked only go to A&E for serious health emergencies

The region’s NHS has experienced significant pressures in hospital A&E departments over the Christmas weekend, causing long waiting times and some cancelled operations.

High numbers of poorly older people with respiratory illnesses are seeing increased admissions into hospital.  A&E departments are reporting up to 60 people waiting in some areas first thing this morning (Monday 29th December).  Icy conditions today will likely lead to slips and trips, therefore broken bones, meaning additional A&E attendances.  The NHS is calling on the public to help.

Please only attend A&E or use the 999 service for serious health emergencies which include:

  • A major accident
  • Broken bones
  • Breathing problems
  • Severe chest pains
  • Unconsciousness
  • Suspected stroke
  • Severe blood loss

Look in on elderly neighbours and relatives and make sure they are warm and well.

Remember your GP practice is open every day apart from January 1st. They are also open on Friday January 2nd with some open on Saturday 3rd. Check your GP practice website for details.

If you need medical advice call NHS 111. They can advise on alternative local NHS services available. If NHS 111 gives you advice, then please follow it – by doing this you are helping the NHS make the best use of resources.  If you are normally healthy and have a winter illness such as a cough or a cold, then visit your pharmacist for advice and stock up on over the counter medication.

For a guide to self-care go to http://www.keepcalmthiswinter.org.uk/self-care-advice/

Dr Neil O’Brien, GP and accountable officer for North Durham Clinical Commissioning Group, speaking on behalf of the region’s NHS services, said

“Our hospitals and A&E departments are under severe pressures and we need to make sure that only the people who need emergency medical help attend. The public can help us make sure that NHS services are available for those people most in need by thinking about what other local NHS services might be better placed to help them that mean that 999 and A&E stay free for those more in need of emergency care.

Dr O’Brien continued: “Remember your GP practice is open this week, there are walk-in services open and NHS 111 can give quick advice.

“Most normally healthy people with a winter illness do not need to see their GP, do not need to attend A&E and absolutely do not need to call 999.  Colds, sore throats, head-aches, hangovers, upset stomachs, coughs, aches, pains, and winter vomiting should all be treated at home or with the advice of your local pharmacist, with pain killers, rest and plenty of fluids.

“By doing this not only are you helping to reduce the spread of winter viruses to other vulnerable patients in NHS waiting rooms – you are also keeping appointments available for people who have serious health conditions that must see a doctor or nurse, or have severe or life threatening conditions that need emergency care immediately.

Dr O’Brien continued: “The NHS belongs to all of us and in the North East we have a proud history of close working across all NHS services. We really need the help of those who really do not need to call 999 or go to A&E to help our doctors, nurses and paramedics so they can provide the very best care they can to those who need it the most this Christmas time.”

During winter months, the demand for NHS services increases significantly as cold weather means there are more slips, trips and injuries. Generally more people feel unwell during the winter as they spend more time indoors and coughs and colds are passed around the family, friends and colleagues at work. In addition festive public holidays can, place additional pressure on specific parts of the system, such as orthopaedics, intensive care and paediatrics.

This all adds up to more of people having an accident or becoming unwell with a winter bug, meaning more people want to see their GP, attend accident and emergency or call 999.

Across the region’s NHS, the 12 North East Clinical Commissioning Groups have systems and processes in place to monitor and manage the pressures across health and social care organisations who are working together to manage this situation.

Now the region’s NHS staff are asking the public to help them ensure that vital NHS services are available for patients who need them the most, by thinking carefully about alternative local NHS services they could use instead of calling 999 or going to the accident and emergency department.

If someone has an injury of ailment which is not an emergency, they can call NHS 111, or seek help from their GP, pharmacist or local walk-in or urgent centre.

Advice on how to treat a range of common winter conditions by keeping a well-stocked medicine cabinet at home or speaking to your local pharmacist is available at keepcalmthiswinter.org.uk or @keepcalmne

 

 


Keep Calm and see a pharmacist

See below poster for information on a winter scheme across Teesside to help with aches and pains

Keep Calm Pharm 265x340mm Eve Gzte ad (2)


‘Keep calm’ and call NHS 111

‘Keep calm’ and call NHS 111 when your GP surgery is closed this Christmas

That’s the message from the NHS in the North East as health care services enter the busiest time of the year.

Everyone can play a part to help ensure that services are used appropriately by ‘Keeping Calm’ and thinking about the right service for them this winter.

Yvonne Ormston, Chief Executive of NEAS, said: “Improper calls to 999 and the avoidable dispatch of resources reduce the number available for genuine emergencies. That genuine emergency could be someone you know and care about; it could even be a member of your family”

“Before you make that 999 call, think to yourself ‘is this an emergency?’ If the answer is no, please find an alternative way of getting help. An ambulance will not always guarantee you will be seen any quicker.”

NHS 111

Using the NHS 111 service more widely will free up valuable A&E and ambulance services for seriously ill people.

NHS 111 is available 24/7, 365 days a year and will signpost you to the most appropriate service. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones.

Examples of medical emergencies include:

  • chest pain
  • difficulty in breathing
  • unconsciousness
  • severe loss of blood
  • severe burns
  • choking
  • fitting
  • concussion
  • drowning
  • severe allergic reactions.

Ambulance Service under “severe pressure”

North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust today raised its operational status to “severe pressure” under a framework to protect core services for the most vulnerable patients in the region.

There are six levels of alert in the national framework designed to maintain an effective and safe operational and clinical response for the UK’s ambulance services.

Today, NEAS was the eighth ambulance service out of 10 in England to declare its status at level 4. This means that while we attempt to operate a normal service, our response standard to potentially life-threatening calls has deteriorated.

Paul Liversidge, NEAS chief operating officer, said: “We are experiencing severe pressures in responding to emergency calls and with additional pressures across the wider NHS network causing delays in ambulance turnaround times at hospitals we have taken the decision to move the service to level 4 to protect our most vulnerable patients.”

This means that some patient transport service vehicles will move onto emergency care front line services; paramedic trainers and other clinical staff working in support services will return to front line duties; and clinically qualified managers will be made available for front line duties. 

The public can help NEAS reach those patients most in need during this time by using 999 wisely. If someone has an injury of ailment which is not an emergency, they can call NHS 111, or seek help from their GP, pharmacist or local walk-in centre.

During winter months, the demand for NHS services increases significantly as cold weather means there are more slips, trips and injuries. Generally more people feel unwell during the winter as they spend more time indoors and coughs and colds are passed around the family, friends and colleagues at work.

This all adds up to more of people having an accident or becoming unwell with a winter bug, meaning more people want to see their GP, attend accident and emergency or call 999.

North East Ambulance Service is urging people to ‘Keep calm and look after yourself’ this winter, to remind people that many of the common winter ailments and illnesses are easily treated at home, or with advice from a pharmacist – with no need to see a doctor or nurse.

Advice on how to treat a range of common winter conditions by keeping a well-stocked medicine cabinet at home or speaking to your local pharmacist is available at keepcalmthiswinter.org.uk or @keepcalmne

Mr Liversidge continues, “Most normally healthy people with a winter illness do not need to see their GP, attend A&E and absolutely do not need to call 999.  Colds, sore throats, head-aches, hangovers, upset stomachs, coughs, aches, pains, and winter vomiting should all be treated at home or with the advice of your local pharmacist, with pain killers, rest and plenty of fluids.

“By doing this not only are you helping to reduce the spread of winter viruses to other vulnerable patients in NHS waiting rooms – you are also keeping appointments available for people who have serious health conditions that must see a doctor or nurse.”


‘Keep calm’, order your repeat prescriptions and keep a well stocked medicines cabinet this winter

‘Keep calm’, order your repeat prescriptions and make sure you have a well stocked medicines cabinet this winter.

That’s the message from the North East’s NHS as it gears up for its busiest time of the year. As the NHS prepares for its busiest time of the year, people in the North East are being urged to help prepare themselves by ordering any repeat prescriptions that they need well in advance.

Dr Ali Tahmassebi, GP locality lead for NHS South Tees Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “Many calls to the region’s out of hours service are for emergency repeat prescriptions when people have run out. This is something that can easily be avoided with some forethought and planning.”

“If you or someone you care for requires medicines regularly, make sure you order and collect repeat prescriptions in good time to ensure you or your family have enough medicine to last over the festive period.”

People in the North East are also being reminded that many of the common winter ailments and illnesses are easily treated at home, or with advice from a pharmacist – with no need to see a doctor or nurse.

Going to see your GP for common winter illnesses like coughs and colds takes up valuable NHS staff time as well as costing the NHS millions of pounds every year.

You can be prepared for most common winter illnesses by keeping a well stocked medicines cabinet at home. You can buy all of the items you need from your local pharmacist or supermarket often at very little cost.

Dr Ali Tahmassebi, said: “Winter is just about here, so plan ahead and make sure your medicines cabinet is well stocked.

“Paracetamol and ibuprofen are effective at relieving most minor aches and pains such as headaches period pain, inflammation in arthritis and sprains, while Antacids can help with stomach ache, heartburn or trapped wind and are available in various forms including chewable tablets.

“A handy first aid kit could contain bandages, plasters, a thermometer, antiseptic, eyewash solution, sterile dressings, medical tape and tweezers.”

“By having a good selection of items you can be well prepared for those minor ailments that many of us suffer over the winter period. And by doing your bit and looking after yourself, you’re freeing up valuable NHS resources for those who really need them.”

The North East’s NHS has joined forces to launch the Keep Calm campaign. You can find out more information by visiting the campaign website – www.keepcalmthiswinter.org.uk . The website has information on common winter illnesses, what the symptoms are, how to treat them, how long they will last. It includes advice on what to keep in your winter medicines cabinet so you can be ready to treat illnesses as they start.

The campaign will be seen on regional TV adverts, buses, social media and printed materials in GP practices, pharmacies and other venues across the region. It is targeting normally healthy people who suffer a winter ailment.

The campaign message of ‘Keep Calm and look after yourself’ runs across three threads including:

  • Keep Calm and ask a pharmacist
  • Keep Calm and call 111
  • Keep Calm and antibiotics aren’t always the answer

Don’t forget to follow the campaign on Twitter: @keepcalmne

And use the hashtag #keepcalmne when you Tweet.

ENDS

 

 


Winning community projects announced

NHS South Tees CCG is delighted to announce the voluntary and community sector projects who have been successful in winning a proportion of the Community Innovations Fund and the Mental Health Innovations Fund.

Please see details of successful projects below.

Community Innovations Fund successful applications

 Mental Health Innovations Fund successful applicants

The CCG identified a sum of money (£400,000) that was made available for innovative schemes that support the CCG in delivering its primary purpose of improving the health and wellbeing of the population of Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland.

The money is used to fund start-up costs and some continuing costs for services or activities, which contribute, at a local level, to the objectives of the CCG.

Dr Henry Waters, Chair of NHS South Tees CCG said, “There are some fantastic innovative ideas in this year’s bids which will have a positive impact on the health of local people.”

Organisations submitted applications for either up to £20,000 or up to £40,000.

For further information please contact STCCG.enquiries@nhs.net or call 01642 511868.

 


‘Keep calm’ and order your repeat prescriptions

‘Keep calm and look after yourself’ by planning ahead and ordering any repeat prescriptions you may need over the festive period – that’s the message from the North East’s NHS this winter.

As the NHS prepares for its busiest time of the year, people in the North East are being urged to help prepare themselves by ordering any repeat prescriptions that they need well in advance.

Dr Ali Tahmassebi, GP locality lead for NHS South Tees Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “Many calls to the region’s out of hours service are for emergency repeat prescriptions when people have run out. This is something that can easily be avoided with some forethought and planning.”

“If you or someone you care for requires medicines regularly, make sure you order and collect repeat prescriptions in good time to ensure you or your family have enough medicine to last over the festive period.”

The North East’s NHS has joined forces to launch the Keep Calm campaign. You can find out more information by visiting the campaign website – www.keepcalmthiswinter.org.uk . The website has information on common winter illnesses, what the symptoms are, how to treat them, how long they will last. It includes advice on what to keep in your winter medicines cabinet so you can be ready to treat illnesses as they start.

The campaign will be seen on regional TV adverts, buses, social media and printed materials in GP practices, pharmacies and other venues across the region. It is targeting normally healthy people who suffer a winter ailment.

The campaign message of ‘Keep Calm and look after yourself’ runs across three threads including:

  • Keep Calm and ask a pharmacist
  • Keep Calm and call 111
  • Keep Calm and antibiotics aren’t always the answer

Don’t forget to follow the campaign on Twitter:

@keepcalmne