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Patients across Gloucestershire are today being urged to get the right healthcare advice this season, do the right thing and leave the county’s two Emergency Departments to care for people with serious injuries and life threatening conditions. 

The call comes as Summer and the holiday period gets in to full swing across the county. 

Dr Tom Llewellyn, Clinical Director for Emergency Care at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said:  “Our emergency departments continue to face significant pressures and this is likely to continue as the Summer season really gets going. Therefore, we would urge the public to do the right thing and only use A&E if they have life threatening conditions or serious injuries.  

"If it isn’t a genuine emergency, you are likely to receive the care you need in a more timely fashion if you access other health services available. We need to focus our time on those patients who are seriously unwell.”

If people are ill or injured and are unsure where to turn, they are advised to follow the ASAP message – download the ASAP App (ASAP Glos NHS), Search the website (www.asapglos.nhs.uk), Ask NHS 111 or Pop in to their local pharmacy. 

In particular, summer-related ailments such as minor reactions to things like stings and bites and the heat as well as sun burn, hay fever, bumps, bruises, sprains and strains can be treated with self-care or with support from the local pharmacy or a community hospital minor illness and injury unit.  

Dr Andy Seymour, Clinical Chair of NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group said:  “The choice of healthcare options is often greater than people realise, particularly for the treatment of minor ailments.

"The local pharmacy is a great first port of call. Pharmacists are qualified to give advice on a range of conditions, are experts on medicines and can advise people on whether they need to call or visit another NHS service.  

"We have also invested in additional GP appointments for people who have illnesses that won’t go away, such as infections and long term health conditions.” 

Candace Plouffe, Chief Operating Officer at Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust, which runs the county's community hospitals and its community nursing service said: "We have minor injury units at all seven of our community hospital sites where we can treat a wide range of conditions including minor illnesses, sprains, simple fractures, minor burns, stitches and skin problems and would encourage people to use these where possible as an alternative to A&E.

"You are likely to be seen quickly, there is free parking available and you don’t need to make an appointment.”