Keep Wales Safe logo Jan 2021The ever-changing COVID-19 situation continues to put NHS staff and services under huge pressure. However, the NHS is still there for you if and when you need it, but the way you access services might be different.

The Keep Wales Safe team have a message about accessing the NHS this winter, and making sure you know that it is still there for you when you need it:

“Now more than ever people need to think carefully about where the right place is to seek advice and avoid extra pressure on the NHS this winter.

We are encouraging people to still attend their hospital appointments when asked to or review their treatment. A range of appropriate measures have been taken in hospitals to keep people safe, including treating people with coronavirus or suspected coronavirus in separate areas to those who do not have the virus to prevent the risk of it spreading.

The NHS is working hard to keep services running while trying to keep you safe. If you are worried about persistent symptoms contact your GP. After being offered a medical appointment please make sure you attend at the scheduled time. It is safe to do so. Alternatively, you may be offered a video consultation; this is still a full consultation visit but saves you travelling to your local surgery.  

As well as making sure you seek help when you need it, the Keep Wales Safe campaign is asking people to use the online symptom checker on the NHS 111 Wales website (111.wales.nhs.uk) or call 111 for advice on where to go to get the right treatment.

By choosing the right service for your needs we can ensure we do not put extra pressure on GPs, Emergency Departments and the emergency ambulance services as they continue to tackle the pandemic.

Did you know that community pharmacies play a key role in helping people with minor ailments and injuries, get the right medicines and support? Where possible you can assist pharmacists by ordering repeat prescriptions seven days before they are due. Or if you have a minor injury there are clinics that can treat you so you don’t need to go to A&E? You can find your closest clinic online.

And remember if you have COVID symptoms no matter how mild, please self-isolate and book a test by calling 119 or call 111 if symptoms persist and you can no longer cope at home.

We’re all in this together. Help us help you.”