This Section is designed for healthcare professionals and GP Practice staff.

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Take better care of yourself to free up GPs and A&E for those in most need

Local people are being called on to consider how they can take better care of themselves, freeing up GP appointments and emergency departments for those in most urgent need this winter.

Winter is extremely difficult for the NHS, especially on A&E departments and GP surgeries as they cope with increasing numbers of people seeking treatment. This could potentially be made worse this year by the number of people using these services when they could have been treated more appropriately elsewhere or could have treated themselves at home.

Taking better care is about individuals keeping fit and healthy, and understanding when people can look after themselves, when a pharmacist can help and when to get advice from a GP or another health professional. For those with a long-term condition, it is about understanding that condition and how to live with it.

A website at www.sussexhelpmy.nhs.uk highlights all these available alternatives to A&E visits and GP appointments, with searchable listings on the most appropriate services to treat a range of illness and injuries.

Dr David Supple, Brighton GP and Chair of NHS Brighton and Hove CCG, said:  “Whether it is self-treatable conditions, long term conditions, or lifestyle choices to ensure better physical health and mental wellbeing, there are huge benefits to people looking after themselves better. This also means that you help the wider NHS by freeing up A&E and GP appointments for those in most need.”