Doctors warn Haverhill residents to be prepared for Christmas

Haverhill residents are being reminded of the healthcare options available to them over the festive season.

With Christmas fast approaching, people are are being urged to make the right choices during one of the busiest times of the year for the NHS.

Dr Mark Shenton, a GP in Stowmarket, said: “The festive season is always a busy time for NHS services and staff.

“This is why it is so important for people to make the right choice and choose the most appropriate place to go for treatment should they need it.

“People should remember that their hospital’s emergency department (A&E) is the place to go only if you’ve had a serious accident or have a medical emergency.”

Dr Christopher Browning, a GP in Long Melford and chairman of NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group added: “During this busy time we want people to consider the other healthcare options available to them.

“By making the right choice people will get treated more quickly and emergency department staff will be able to focus on helping people with serious, life-threatening conditions.”

Jon Green, chief operating officer at West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Emergency departments come under increasing pressure, particularly over the winter period.

“There are other services that provide urgent advice and assistance and we are working to encourage local people to use these when appropriate.

“Pharmacists, GPs and the 111 telephone service are all geared up to help people who need support, but whose condition is not serious or life-threatening.”

Find out more about keeping healthy and well over winter by visiting: www.nhs.uk/staywell