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Using the right NHS services this winter

​​Dr Shelagh McCormick is urging people to choose the right NHS service for them this winter.
With the festive holidays now over, Devon’s health professionals are reminding people about the range of NHS services available.

Winter is traditionally demanding for the NHS, so it is important that patients choose the best help for them, getting information or treatment in the quickest time possible.

While the NHS 111 helpline was open during the festivities, proving popular among the public, GP practices and some pharmacies were closed for the bank holidays, but this week they are available as usual.

Other services available include minor injuries units (MIU), walk-in centres and the NHS 111 helpline. Staff at the MIUs will examine minor ailments and injuries, and can determine if an x-ray is required. 

And if people want to know which services are available with the shortest possible wait, they can download the NHSquicker app from iTunes or Google Play.

Dr Shelagh McCormick, a Devon GP, said: “Christmas and New Year is always a busy time, with high numbers of patients using NHS services.

“But winter brings its own pressures and, with numbers of flu cases rising and lots of coughs and colds about, it’s important that people get the very best out of the NHS. 

“People with minor ailments have a wide range of options, including visiting an MIU or phoning 111. Some people may wish to book an appointment to see a GP or visit a pharmacy.

“Pharmacists are highly trained and skilled professionals, offering a range of very accessible health services – including medication for complaints such as fevers, coughs, colds, aches and pains, as well as year-round health issues such as healthy eating, sexual health and giving up smoking.

“Pharmacists will be really happy to provide a wide range of advice, and an appointment is not needed.”

NHSquicker:
NHSquicker is a free app which provides live waiting and travel times for NHS services providing urgent care across Devon and Cornwall.

NHSquicker provides information about the healthcare services available based on your location, helping you to choose the right service and spend less time waiting.

The combined travel and waiting times estimate how long it will take you to be seen by each service. Our emergency departments are busy, and often for a minor injury, you could be seen quicker elsewhere. 

Further NHSquicker information here​.

South Devon MIUs
  • Dawlish Community Hospital, Barton Terrace, Dawlish, EX7 9DH
  • Newton Abbot Community Hospital, West Golds Road, Jetty Marsh, Newton Abbot, TQ12 2TS
  • Totnes Community Hospital, Coronation Road, Totnes, TQ9 5GH