The star of a brand new health film has urged people who fall ill over the weekend to call 111.
The plea was made this week by 66-year-old John Paley, who pointed out that the NHS telephone service was available 24/7 every day for people needing non-emergency health advice when their GP surgery was closed.
And he stressed that calls to 111 were completely free.
John, from Codnor Park, Ripley was asked to take part in the three-minute film by NHS Southern Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) which plans and buys healthcare for 525,000 people.
Chair of the Patient Participation Group (PPG) at Ripley’s Jessop Medical Practice, he said:
“Many patients don’t know what to do if they feel poorly in the evening or at the weekend. Lots of people still haven’t heard of 111 and many of those who have think there’s a charge.
“Yet the service, which is provided by experienced health professionals, doesn’t cost a penny.”
The role of 111 is explained fully in the video, which is available to watch on YouTube and the CCG’s website. The film also gives lots of good advice on staying warm and well this winter.
Featuring CCG chair Dr Sheila Newport, the video asks patients to ease the strain on GP practices and A & E during the winter by heeding some common sense advice.
People at risk of falling seriously ill if they catch flu are urged to make an appointment with their GP to have their free jab. Those eligible for the vaccine include:
Patients suffering from common illnesses such as coughs and colds should stay at home and take over-the-counter remedies such as paracetamol. They should drink plenty, eat well and have lots of rest. They should keep their house properly heated and wrap up if going outdoors. People should only contact their GP if their symptoms worsen or they get short of breath.
The video advises people to call 111 for non-emergency help outside GP hours, and points out that pharmacists can offer sound advice too.
John said: “I really enjoyed my screen debut and would be happy to do similar things in the future. Anything that eases pressure on GPs and hospitals at this critical time of year has to be worth doing.”
He added that he had also written an article along similar lines for a local newspaper.
Dr Newport, who is filmed chatting with John, added: “He’s a natural on screen and we’re really grateful to him for helping us communicate these important messages.”
The PPGs advising the area’s 57 GP practices are always looking for new members keen to help their surgery improve the way it works. Anyone interested in getting involved should ask their practice reception staff.
For other ways of helping shape local health services, call CCG engagement manager Claire Haynes on 01332 868677 or email Claire.firstname.lastname@example.org.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
NHS Southern Derbyshire CCG represents 57 GP practices and is responsible for the healthcare of 525,000 people. It is one of four clinical commissioning groups in Derbyshire.
Charles Malkin, Communications Officer
Tel: 01246 514971/07825 274111