‘Keep calm and call NHS 111’ when your GP surgery is closed and you need urgent health care this Christmas.
That’s the message from the NHS in the North East as health care services prepare for the busiest time of the year.
People can play their part in ensuring services are used appropriately by ‘Keeping Calm’ and thinking about the right service for them this winter.
Dr James Gossow, Regional Clinical Lead for NHS 111 said: “By ‘Keeping Calm and calling NHS 111’ North Easterners can ensure that our busy A&E departments are able to focus their resources on those people who are most seriously ill.
“The North East is one of the highest performing areas in the country for the NHS 111 service and was one of the first pilot areas when the service was introduced in 2010.
“When you call NHS 111, you will speak to the same highly trained call handlers who deal with 999 emergencies and directed to the most appropriate service to meet your needs, first time.”
NHS 111 is the new, urgent health care service for when you need help fast, but it’s not a 999 emergency.
Using the NHS 111 service will free up valuable resources in the North East’s A&E departments for those people who are most seriously ill.
The NHS 111 has successfully been running in the North East since August 2010, when it was piloted in the County Durham and Darlington area.
The service is run by the North East Ambulance Service and is staffed by the same highly trained call handlers who deal with 999 emergencies.
NHS 111 will signpost you to the most appropriate service, first time and is available 24/7, 365 days a year and is free to call from landlines and mobile phones.
The ‘Keep Calm and Call NHS 111’ key winter message is part of a regional campaign urging people to ‘Keep Calm’ and use the NHS responsibly as it approaches its busiest time of the year.
The Keep Calm plea is one of three key messages being highlighted by NHS organisations across the region in Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, Durham, Darlington and Teesside. They have joined forces to back the ‘Keep Calm’ campaign which gives advice on how to treat a range of common winter conditions by keeping a well-stocked medicines cabinet at home or speaking to your local pharmacist.
The Keep Calm campaign launched last month and includes a dedicated website – www.keepcalmthiswinter.org.uk with 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:
And use the hashtag #keepcalmne when you Tweet.