Stay safe this Christmas


Christmas is an extremely difficult time of year for our National Health Service and we are joining the calls of our colleagues across Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin in urging people to think about which service they need if they fall ill.


It’s important that you all stay safe and well over winter in general and the festive period in particular, but it is also vital that we protect our already overstretched hospitals and GP surgeries. 


The Think Which Service campaign involves our GPS, nurses and pharmacists coming together to urge local people to ‘Think Self-Care’ and to consider using services such as their local pharmacy, Minor Injury Units (MIU) or NHS 111, before turning straight to their GP, nearest A&E or dialling 999.


Why it is important


It is incredible to think that more than 130,000 people turn up at A&E departments In Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin each year and while many require care from A&E staff, unfortunately, it is the case that last year more than two-thirds of that number could have been effectively treated elsewhere in the system, such as in an MIU or by a pharmacist. 


This obviously puts an enormous strain on our A&E services and results in long waits for those who truly need to access this acute form of care that can’t be handled through other available services.


Thinking ahead


The Think Which Service campaign is asking people to recognise the issues and think ahead as far as they can so they can administer self-care for the more minor ailments whenever possible and take steps to prevent illness, including: 


- Keeping up to date with vaccinations

- Eating well

- Staying warm

- Keeping active

- Keeping medicine cabinets well-stocked


In addition, we encourage you to make regular checks on elderly or vulnerable neighbours, friends and family in line with our recently launched CHECK campaign, which ensures a community support network - especially for those living in rural areas. It is something we advocate all year round but even more so at this time of year when we face significant demand on our health services.


Finding out more


For more about Think Which Service, visit or follow the campaign on social media using #ThinkWhichService. Still unsure about which service is right for you? Visit NHS 111 online, which is a fast alternative to a trip to A&E. You can also phone NHS 111.


Always keep in mind that A&E and 999 are for emergency situations only, and stay safe this Christmas.

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