Hounslow GPs are encouraging patients to ‘talk before you walk’ so that they get the most appropriate treatment first time when they are unwell.
The ‘talk before you walk’ campaign asks patients to call NHS 111 for advice on which service to use rather than heading straight to A&E.
Dr Nicola Burbidge, chair of Hounslow Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We understand that when people are ill, or if their child is unwell, they want to be treated as quickly as possible.
“But seeking expert advice on the most appropriate service for their need can often mean they are treated more quickly than they would be by turning up at A&E, which is for patients with life-threatening illnesses and injuries.
“The NHS 111 advisers are fully trained and are supported by experienced nurses and paramedics. They will ask questions to assess your symptoms, then offer healthcare advice or direct you to the service that can help you best.
In a new development, GPs in Hounslow are working together to offer appointments on Saturdays and Sundays at some practices.
Nicola added: “If you call 111 at the weekend and the advisers think you should be treated by a GP or nurse, they will direct you to the nearest surgery that offers the weekend service.
“These practices are open 10am to 4pm on Saturdays and 12noon to 4pm on Sundays. You don’t need to be registered at that practice to use the service, and using it will not affect your registration with your own GP. Unregistered patients are also welcome.
“We all need to take responsibility for using NHS services appropriately, so I would encourage all Hounslow residents to ‘talk before you walk’.”