Do you know which health service is best for you?

Fylde coast residents are being encouraged to learn more about the health services available to them as a poll reveals only a small number of people know the best way to treat minor illnesses.

Think! Why A and E campaign launchesWhen asked what they would do if they had a sore throat and a temperature when their GP surgery was closed, only four per cent of people said they would visit their pharmacist for advice.  The same number of people said they would treat the symptoms themselves by taking aspirin or paracetamol.

Visiting A&E, calling a GP out-of-hours service, waiting for the GP surgery to re-open and visiting the Walk-In Health Centre or Same Day Health Centre were all more popular options than self-care or visiting a local pharmacy.

When asked the reason for their choice, 20 per cent of those questioned said they believed they would get advice more quickly.

More worryingly, 18 per cent of residents said they were unsure of what other options were available to them.

Launched last week, the Think! Why A&E? campaign aims to raise awareness about the range of health services available locally.

Dr Amanda Doyle, a GP in Blackpool and chief clinical officer at NHS Blackpool Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “Self-care can often be the first port of call. Coughs colds, sore throats, vomiting and other minor ailments such as sprains can all be treated at home with a well-stocked medicine cabinet.”

Thornton GP and clinical chief officer at NHS Fylde and Wyre CCG, Dr Tony Naughton, added: “By knowing more about the different health services available and what they offer, you can get yourself and your family the right treatment much faster. Avoiding unnecessary visits to A&E or your GP surgery is important.

“Pharmacists are an excellent alternative that people can contact for advice.  You don’t need to be registered and you don’t need to book an appointment to see a pharmacist either.”

To raise awareness of healthcare services, NHS Blackpool Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), NHS Fylde and Wyre CCG and Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have launched the Think! Why A&E campaign.

It features six highly identifiable cartoon characters and aims to encourage people to choose the right NHS service for them and their families according to their symptoms. Visit for more information.