NHS East Berkshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has published information to help residents understand the various NHS services available – day and night.
The information can be used to work out the best place to get advice or treatment when you are unwell. By following the expert advice of NHS staff, you can help your local NHS help you stay well; prevent an illness getting worse; and take the best course of action to feel well again.
Winter is always a busy time for the health service. If people go to the right service, it helps the NHS to work at its best and be there for those who really need it. That is why we are asking you to "help us, help you".
Many minor illnesses and injuries can be dealt with away from hospitals, with shorter waiting times. For example, your local pharmacist can offer you free, qualified health advice, and no appointment is necessary. From coughs and colds to aches and pains, they can give you expert help on everyday illnesses and answer questions about prescribed and over-the-counter medicines.
If you need to speak to a clinician, need reassurance or don't know where to go, call NHS 111. You will be directed to the most appropriate service or, be given an appointment to see a clinician if needed. The call is free of charge and the service is available 24 hours a day. This means no lengthy waits in hospital waiting rooms with other potentially unwell people.
If you do need to be seen in general practice outside of normal working hours, additional appointments with GPs and other healthcare professionals during evenings and weekends are available across East Berkshire. All you have to do is call your GP surgery to book an appointment. Please note that these appointments need to be pre-booked in advance as the service cannot accept walk-in patients. They are also in addition to some local GP practices offering in-house extended hours appointments for their patients. More details can be found here.
Everyone has a role to play in keeping themselves healthy, and the NHS can provide the information and advice you need to stay well. Visit nhs.uk/staywell