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Not always A&E campaign continues


Winter is a busy time for the health service and in particular for our A&E departments. During February the 'Not always A&E' campaign continues in south east London. The NHS campaign explains that people should only go to A&E when it is absolutely necessary and reminds people of the often quicker and easier alternatives.  

The posters for the campaign feature yellow men with different minor ailments, highlighting the alternative places people can get expert advice and treatment if they need it. Posters have appeared on buses and billboards across the borough.  We even brought 7ft tall statues of the yellow men to St Matthew’s Garden in Brixton on 16 December, handed out leaflets and talked to residents about their experiences. The idea behind the campaign was well received and many people told us "it's just common sense".

According to national surveys 39% of A&E attendances could have been treated elsewhere. Across south east London, A&Es see around 1500 patients a day. This means that 585 A&E attendances a day could potentially have been avoided if the national figure is applied locally.

The posters in Lambeth focus on backache, runny noses, diarrhoea and sore throats because people suffering with these conditions often visit A&E when they don’t need to. In most cases a visit to your local pharmacist for advice and rest at home will get you better as quickly as anything else.

The campaign is supported by a website where you can find the nearest service to you that can help treat your illness or injury.

Throughout February you will see posters in your local GP surgery and pharmacy. You can also pick up a leaflet which has information about NHS services in Southwark.​