18th November 2014 – 8am – Steve Parry/Chris Kowalik
Sore throat, high temperature, headache, a general feeling of being under the weather. With these symptoms do you really need to call 999 for an ambulance?
All this week West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) is supporting ‘Self Care Week’ with the aim of helping people to take care of themselves and look after their own health.
WMAS receives up to 3,000 999 calls each day. A high percentage of these patients could have treated themselves for injury or illness or referred themselves to alternative health care providers.
WMAS Medical Director Dr Andrew Carson is also local GP with many years’ experience of dealing with trauma patients and providing help and advice for less serious cases of injury or illness.
Video: Andy Carson:
“As medical director for the Trust and a local GP, I am aware how confusing it may seem when seeking medical help or advice when you’re unwell.
“The first step is to prevent illness in the first place. I would therefore strongly recommend people get a flu jab before winter approaches.
“If you are suffering a minor injury or illness you should consider approaching your local pharmacist or call NHS 111 for advice. Where your symptoms persist you should visit a Walk-in Centre or contact your GP.
“In life threatening situations such as chest pain, strokes, breathing difficulties and severe bleeding, you should call 999 for an ambulance immediately.”
This year’s campaign theme is “Self-Care for life – be healthy this winter” and aims to raise awareness of how many common ailments don’t require an ambulance, and that contacting alternative health providers for advice and treatment is often your best bet.