Ambulance services urge residents to prepare for winter

Bucks Free Press: Ambulance services urge residents to prepare for winter Ambulance services urge residents to prepare for winter

'BE prepared' is the message from the region's ambulance service with demand set to increase over the winter months.

Bucks residents are being urged to only use ambulances in the event of a serious or life threatening situation and to remind themselves of where they should go depending on their illness or injury.

Mark Ainsworth, Operations Director with South Central Ambulance Service, said: “We’d encourage everyone to use us appropriately and only use 999 and A&E in a genuine emergency situation.

"Choosing the right place to go for NHS treatment can save you time, get you the right level of care first time around and help us respond to genuine life threatening medical emergencies.”

There are several options available to patients for non-life threatening injuries or illnesses.

Patients can call the non emergency 111 number or use NHS Direct online at www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk, or consult their nearest pharmacist.

Out-of-hours GP services can help treat infections and persistent symptoms such as ear pain, rashes, fevers and depression, while hospital Minor Injuries Units or Walk In Centres should be consulted for injuries such as deep cuts, eye injuries, severe sprains, minor head injuries, minor burns, scalds and bites.

Your nearest pharmacy and Minor Injuries Unit can be found by using the NHS Direct website.

The 999 emergency number and Accident and Emergency departments should be used for serious conditions such as chest pain, choking, blackout, cardiac arrest, heart attack, severe loss of blood, stroke and breathing difficulties, and in the case of major accidents.

Residents are also being urged to think about the impact the winter can have on any existing medical conditions they might have. For example, if you have heart or respiratory problems, make sure you stay inside if possible during cold spells.

You should also think about any medications you are on, and whether you have enough to get you through the winter months. Make sure you are stocked up, or have a means of replacing any prescriptions you might need. If you are in any doubt about an existing condition or medications, consult your GP.

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