Doctors, pharmacists and emergency care leads are working with patients, families and carers in Bracknell to ensure that the right healthcare services are being used at the right time.
The work forms a part of Bracknell and Ascot Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG) Ringmead Urgent Care initiative.
Over the next few months, healthcare professionals will be testing a range of initiatives with around 15,000 patients in the catchment area of the Ringmead Medical Practice in Birch Hill and Great Hollands Square, Bracknell. The initiative will see if communicating essential healthcare access information on services such as doctors and A&E helps to make a positive difference to people in the area.
Ringmead Medical Practice was chosen as it is one of the biggest in the area, and research shows us that people can be seen more quickly if they access the appropriate health service. This includes pharmacies or care for simple illnesses at home like the common cold in children and adults.
Of course, there are times when people absolutely need to attend A&E and people should continue to do so.
Patients, families and carers will be advised of the following when applicable:
- You can get professional and confidential health advice over the telephone from NHS 111
- Pharmacists are expert medical professionals and can advise you on a range of childhood illnesses and medicines
Dr. Rohail Malik, urgent and emergency care lead for Bracknell and Ascot Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which commissions local GP services, said:
“People sometimes think they need to visit a GP or hospital with minor illnesses and injuries, but can often get the treatment they need faster elsewhere, like the pharmacy, or at home using simple remedies.
“People also have access to new and improved urgent health care services such as the NHS 111 service will help them access a wide range of clinical care through a single call, including dental, pharmacy and mental health services, ensuring patients get the right care, first time.
“If people use health services appropriately, and only if they genuinely need to, it means they should get seen quicker.”
Dr. Ivan Aloysius, lead GP at the Ringmead Medical Practice, said:
“Your local pharmacist can offer you free, qualified health advice at any time, and no appointment is necessary. From coughs and colds to aches and pains, they can give you expert help on everyday illnesses and answer questions about prescribed and over-the-counter medicines.
“Pharmacists can also advise in confidence, and in a private area, on healthy eating, obesity and giving up smoking all year round.
“If you need medical help out of hours, call NHS 111. Simply dialing 111 will put you through.”
Dr. Rohail Malik said: “People with long-term conditions, who often have more complex health needs than other people using health services, can still plan their care to help manage their condition and prevent unnecessary medical assistance.”
“We are asking everyone to think whether they really need to come to the emergency department or whether they could get treatment in a more appropriate way. As the name of the department suggests, we are here for emergencies rather than for treating very minor injuries, ailments, slips and trips.
“Time spent treating these patients increases the pressures on staff as well as the risks to our more vulnerable patients. However, it’s important to remind everyone that our doors are always open for those with serious injuries or illnesses.
“As part of the Ringmead initiative, we are encouraging people to think about the whole range of healthcare services, which for non-emergency care can be much more convenient and appropriate to their needs.”
Dr.Rohail Malik added: “Self-care is also important, and not just for people who are older or ill. If you are a parent or carer, you have a really important role to play, making sure you and loved ones are looking after yourselves and taking medication they need as prescribed.
“Eating well, taking exercise and seeing others are really important for mental and physical health and wellbeing, especially during the winter.
“If you do fall ill, it is always best to seek the most suitable help.”
Feedback and analysis from this initiative may result in these approaches to providing people with information being used across Bracknell and other areas. The aim is to ensure all patients know where and when to access appropriate services, ensuring the NHS can provide the best service quickly for all, through providing information leaflets and information sessions.
As well as working with patients, families and carers, health professionals, including a GP, urgent care lead and a nurse, will be attending local school assemblies and other key community and voluntary group meetings to help raise awareness of the different healthcare services available, making the right choices.
You can find out more by visiting the Ringmead Medical Practice website: