Wales

Welsh NHS 'Choose Well' campaign for right service

  • 28 February 2011
  • From the section Wales
A doctor writes a prescription
Image caption A colour-coded 'thermometer' will help people link their symptoms with the right NHS service

A campaign to help patients in Wales choose the best place to get treatment if they fall ill has been launched.

Choose Well aims to raise awareness of which NHS services are available.

A colour-coded "thermometer" will help people link their symptoms with the right NHS service.

Wales' chief medical officer, Tony Jewell, said: "We want to make sure people get the right care in the right place at the right time".

Officials said that evidence showed a significant number of people still go to A&E or dial 999 when there are more suitable services.

But the colour-coded thermometer will help people link their health complaint to the right service - minor injuries units for the treatment of minor illnesses or injuries without the need for appointment to A&E for life-threatening situations.

The campaign is being run by NHS Wales and the assembly government.

Dr Jewell said: "When asked, people gave us a very strong message that they weren't really aware of all of the services that existed, or how they should be used.

"We are hoping that this campaign is going to prove useful in helping people towards accessing the right services, at the right time to meet their healthcare needs.

"Helping people make the right choice in accessing services will not only benefit patients themselves but also assist our doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals to maintain high quality services.

"We want to make sure people living in Wales get the right care in the right place at the right time."

Health Minister Edwina Hart said: "By giving people choice and helping them to understand the range of support available, the Choose Well campaign will help members of the public to understand how they can help themselves and the NHS by choosing the most appropriate service if they fall ill."

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