Think Where, Choose Well

18/12/2014

The Choose Well campaign will be running across Northern Ireland again this winter. The campaign, which is in its second year, aims to help people gain a better understanding of the health services available to treat everything from a common cold to a major emergency.

30665Choose-well-Skyscraper(1).gifWhether it is checking online, a trip to the pharmacy or an appointment with a GP, if people choose well, they will get the right services for them and will help the health service to help them.

One of the main ‘Choose Well’ messages is for everyone to take time to think about how they use their health services. A recent survey surprisingly found that 40% of people aged 16-24 said they would consult a GP in the event of cold or flu like symptoms. This is significantly more than average. Many people of this age group could instead take over the counter medicines such as paracetamol, stay at home, rest, drink plenty of fluids and, if they are able to, visit a pharmacist for advice.

Because the number of genuine urgent and emergency cases rises during winter hospitals, GPs and community nursing teams all have their hands full. Very often people do not need to see a GP; they can treat themselves, or if they need further advice, pharmacists can advise patients on minor ailments, pain relief, skin complaints, coughs and colds, over-the-counter or on the telephone.

Choose Well is about enabling staff in our emergency services to focus on the people who are the most sick and injured this winter. It’s about making it clear to the public that emergency and 999 services are for life threatening and serious conditions.

This year’s campaign will include television and radio adverts, posters, information leaflets, social media, websites and online ads, as well as advertising on buses, ambulances, Adshels and billboards.

It is vitally important that each and every one of us also plays our part. That is why, now more than ever, it is important that we all choose wisely and think where, choose well.

For more information on Choose Well visit www.nidirect.gov.uk/choosewell