Advice on health this winter

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HEALTH chiefs are encouraging Scarborough people to choose the right place to get treatment or advice for health issues this winter.

Research shows that each year two million Britons visit A&E departments unnecessarily costing the NHS £136 million - the equivalent of employing almost 6,500 nurses or 3,700 doctors.

Dr Phil Kirby, interim director of public health for NHS North Yorkshire and York, said: “If you are unsure about what service to access, NHS Direct provides free advice on symptoms, treatment and local health services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“People often forget that their local pharmacist is a trained health professional who can offer advice on minor injuries and ailments. Pharmacies are often open late and on weekends, making them more convenient than a trip to hospital.”

Ed Smith, A&E consultant at Scarborough Hospital, said: “Several studies show that a fair proportion of people who show up at A&E could have sought advice and treatment from other health services.”

However people should always call 999 in an emergency.