Help keep A&E healthy

Dr Mark O'Donnell, new medical director at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals Trust
Dr Mark O'Donnell, new medical director at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals Trust
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EVERYONE can do their bit to help ease pressure on the NHS this winter.

That’s the message from Fylde coast health bosses for national Self Care Week, which starts today.

The week focuses on helping people to take care of themselves – by taking control of their own health and well-being by finding out about information and support available.

Dr Mark O’Donnell, (pictured), medical director at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “People with long-term conditions often have more complex health needs than others. But with the support of healthcare professionals, they can plan their care to help manage their condition and prevent unnecessary visits to hospital.

“Sometimes people suffering from colds and flu think they have to go to the doctor, but the symptoms can be treated at home with rest, drinking plenty of fluids and taking painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen. Antibiotics will not help.

“People only need to see a doctor if they think they have flu and have a serious underlying illness, are pregnant, have a sick child under one year old, the condition suddenly gets worse or the condition is still getting worse after seven days.”

People are urged not to go to A&E or ring 999 unless in an emergency.

Help can also be sought from pharmacists, GPs, or from NHS Direct on 0845 46 47 or

For those needing treatment, there is the walk-in centre or minor injuries unit.

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