To help ease pressure on busy A&E departments and ambulance services, people are being asked to use NHS 111 (www.111.nhs.uk) as their first port of call for non-emergencies to get the help they need over Christmas.
The advice comes from Bradford District and Craven Health and Care Partnership and is designed to help people make the right choice over the festive period.
NHS 111 call centres are currently very busy with longer call response times expected across the system. As a result, people are being asked to utilise NHS 111 online unless it is a life-threatening emergency when 999 should always be used. For people unable to access online services, the NHS 111 telephone helpline is still available.
Helen Farmer, Director for Access to Care at Bradford District and Craven Health and Care Partnership, said: “Our local NHS teams are working really hard during what is a very busy time of the year and we’re calling on everyone to take time to think about their health, and do what they can to stay well this Christmas to ensure hospitals can focus on their sickest patients.
“By using services such as NHS 111 online – as well as getting your Covid-19 and flu vaccinations, keeping active, and having a well-stocked medicine cabinet at home – you can stay happy, healthy at home over this festive period.
“But it remains vital that anyone needing emergency medical care for life-threatening cases continues to seek help from emergency departments or by calling 999.”
NHS 111 online offers an assessment service, directing people to the best healthcare option. This can include a consultation with a pharmacist, a call back from a nurse, or an out-of-hours appointment with a primary care healthcare professional such as a GP or practice nurse.
People looking to get their COVID-19 booster and flu jabs can continue to do so by going online to book at www.nhs.uk/wintervaccinations or call the National Booking Service on 119. Walk-in clinics are available at Kirkgate shopping centre and Oastler market on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
People looking for emotional support over Christmas can contact Healthy Minds for confidential support and information to help them with their mental health. For urgent mental health crisis support, First Response is available on 0800 952 1181.