RHCH In Winchester Fully Open
The public is being urged to choose well when it comes to their healthcare options, following Friday's fire at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital (RHCH) in Winchester.
The RHCH's emergency department is currently providing a very limited service, so there is greater pressure than normal on emergency departments in nearby hospitals in Southampton, Portsmouth and Basingstoke.
Dr Stuart Ward, medical director for the Southampton, Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Portsmouth PCT Cluster said:
"The RHCH is on the way to getting back on track following Friday's fire, but it's even more important than usual to really think carefully about your healthcare options if you, or a loved one, is feeling unwell or has a minor injury.
"This ensures that those who need the most urgent medical attention will be able to access it without delay - and those with more minor ailments are also treated as quickly as possible elsewhere.
"Please remember that emergency departments are for genuine medical emergencies only, such as severe blood loss, chest pains, loss of consciousness, breathing difficulties and major fractures.
"Many people who attend the emergency department should instead go to a minor injuries unit, all of which can help with issues such as cuts, sprains, strains, stomach upsets, minor fractures and emergency contraception.
"Your local pharmacist is a fantastic source of healthcare advice on a range of topics including minor infections, headaches and emergency contraception. NHS Direct - 0845 4647 - is available 24 hours a day to help you with any queries you have, and can advise on the best course of action for your symptoms.
"Your local GP can also help with a huge range of medical issues not suitable for minor injuries units or pharmacists.
"Finally, don't underestimate the importance of a well-stocked first aid kit at home - particularly as we're approaching the festive season. Painkillers, antiseptic cream, plasters and a few other well chosen items could mean less hassle during your Christmas!"
For details of healthcare options in Hampshire, please visit:
-NHS Hampshire: www.hampshire.nhs.uk/local-services/choose-well
-NHS Portsmouth: www.portsmouth.nhs.uk/Your-Health/Choosewell
-NHS Southampton City: www.southamptonhealth.nhs.uk/treatment/
In a UK first, Hampshire firefighters are teaming up with police in a six-month trial.
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