Advice on health this winter

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.