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Accessing the right care for your needs

This winter, we expect our Trust to be extremely busy, and we need your help to protect our urgent and emergency care services for those most in need.

Most minor injuries and illnesses can often be treated more quickly outside of our Emergency Department and Urgent Treatment Centre, or with the right self-care.

Before attending the Urgent Treatment Centre or Emergency Department, please use the NHS 111 online service to help you find the right place for your healthcare needs.

If you are very concerned about your condition and you are unsure what to do during this time, you can also call 111.

If the right service for you is our Urgent Treatment Centre, NHS 111 can arrange a time for you to arrive at the UTC and you can wait at home until then.

If you need ongoing advice or treatment after attending our Emergency Department or Urgent Treatment Centre, please speak to your GP or Pharmacist.

Please call 999 or attend the Emergency Department if you have a very serious or life-threatening condition. We will continue to treat all patients needing emergency care in our Emergency Department.

We see patients in order of clinical need so if you are waiting a long time to be seen, this means that there are others with more critical conditions.

Helping us to get your loved ones home

This year, we are also seeing the impact on physical and mental health as a result of the economic and social climates, with the cost of living having a direct impact on people’s wellbeing.

Despite this, hospital is not always the best place for people and we want to get people back to their own homes as quickly as possible, as we know recovery is aided by homely surroundings and personal comforts.

Of course, this requires a joint effort not only from colleagues working across the Great Western Hospital, but also staff working in the community, primary care and social care. We also need support from our local communities.

We are calling for support from families, friends and carers to be as involved as possible in early discussions with our staff around the patient’s recovery and ongoing care needs, so that arrangements can be made in time for your relative or friend to leave hospital.

Some of the many things that you can do to help include collecting a patient’s prescriptions when they are ready; arranging early transport for the patient to leave hospital; ensuring the patient has a well-stocked medicine cabinet; making sure the home is warm and there is enough food and drinks for the patient.

They may seem small, but these things really do make a difference in helping people to get home in a timely, yet safe and supported, way. It’s also really important that you look out for your families, friends and neighbours so that those in our communities who are more vulnerable or at risk are looked after this winter.

Please remember that we are here to help you.

Our staff are doing their very best to care for every patient and we will not tolerate any verbal or physical abuse against our staff.

Thank you for your continued support.

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