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Local NHS asks people to consider “Is A&E for me?”

Injured or unwell? NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is encouraging the public to stop and think – is A&E for me?

A&E provides urgent treatment for serious, life-threatening conditions. Before you go there, ask yourself, is it a real emergency?

If the answer is no, there are other local health services focused on delivering care to people with different illnesses and injuries. Every service is highly specialised and, by making the right choice, you will be treated more quickly and will help other services treat the people who really need them.

In our local area there are two nurse-led Minor Injuries Units (MIUs); one is located at Selby Hospital and the second at Malton Hospital, and a walk-in center forms part of the Urgent Care Centre based at York Hospital’s A&E department. However, a recent Healthwatch England survey found that, out of 1,700 patients, approximately a third of respondents did not know where their nearest MIU or walk-in center was and only 20% had used the non-emergency medical helpline 111.

The survey also discovered that nearly 20% of respondents had used the A&E department for non-emergency care outside of GP opening hours.

Dr Andrew Phillips, Lead for Urgent Care at NHS Vale of York CCG, said: “It is important that everyone knows when is the right time to head to A&E. Unnecessary trips, with conditions that could be treated by a pharmacist, or GP, or simply by resting at home, place high demand on the service. It can mean people who need immediate, life-saving care have to wait. So it’s important that you think carefully about the situation first and only go A&E if it is absolutely necessary.

“Planning ahead and understanding what your options are in an emergency will help you get the best care as quickly as possible.”

The range of local health services in the Vale of York area includes:

Self-care is the best choice to treat very minor illnesses, ailments and injuries. A range of common illnesses and complaints, such as coughs, colds, sore throats, upset stomachs and aches and pains can be treated with a well-stocked medicine cabinet and plenty of rest.

Your Local Pharmacy
Need to talk to an expert? Your local high street pharmacy can provide confidential, expert advice and treatment for a range of common illnesses and complaints, without having to wait for a GP appointment or at A&E.

Pharmacists can also dispense repeat prescriptions without the need to visit your GP – speak to your GP or pharmacist to arrange this.

Your GP
Illness or injury that won’t go away? Make an appointment with your GP. They provide a range of services by appointment and when absolutely essential can make home visits.

GP Out-of-Hours
If you need urgent medical care at a time when your surgery is closed (and it can’t wait until the morning) call your surgery number and you will receive information on how to access the care or advice you need. The out-of-hours period is from 6.30pm – 8am on weekdays and all day at weekends and on bank holidays.

NHS 111
Need medical advice quickly? When you call NHS 111 you will speak to an adviser who will help you decide what medical help you need, tell you where you need to go to get medical help and transfer you to the service you need. You should use the service if you urgently need medical help or advice but it’s not life threatening.

Urgent Care Centre
Cut? Sprain? Minor burn? The Urgent Care Centre is for minor illness or injury that requires urgent attention or advice and is situated at the A&E Department at York Hospital, Wigginton Road, York YO31 8HE. The Urgent Care Centre is open 8am – 6pm, seven days a week. You don’t need an appointment and will be seen by an experienced NHS nurse.

Minor Injuries Unit (MIU)
Minor Injuries Units (MIUs) offer fast, convenient and expert care for minor illnesses and ailments including cuts, grazes, wounds, sprains and minor burns.

A nurse-led MIU is based at Selby Hospital, Doncaster Road, Selby YO8 9BX and is open 7.30am – 9pm, seven days a week.

Another nurse-led MIU is based at Malton Hospital, Middlecave Road, Malton YO17 7NG and is open 9am – 5pm, seven days a week.

A&E and 999
Difficulty breathing? Heavy bleeding? Broken bones? Chest pain? Accident and Emergency departments and the 999 ambulance service should only be used in a critical or life-threatening situation. Dialling 999 and stating an emergency situation will result in a response vehicle being sent to your location.

For more information about self-care or to find your nearest local pharmacy or GP service, visit

You can find local dental, sexual health and stop smoking services at

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