Winter guidance is given by ambulance trust

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THE county’s ambulance service is reminding people to only dial 999 for a genuine emergency.

South Central Ambulance Service (Scas) said it sees an increase in calls for help over the winter period.

Mark Ainsworth, operations director, said: ‘We’d encourage everyone to use us appropriately and only use 999 and A&E in a genuine emergency situation.

‘Choosing the right place to go for NHS treatment can save you time, get you the right level of care first time around and help us respond to genuine life-threatening medical emergencies.’

The service’s three-step guidance reminds people to ‘be aware, be prepared and be neighbourly’.

For ‘be aware’ the following advice is given:

n Call 111 if you urgently need medical help and it’s not a life-threatening situation.

n Consult your pharmacist for illnesses such as coughs and colds, diarrhoea, minor infections, headaches and also for travel advice.

n Contact your GP or Out of Hours GP Service for infections and persistent symptoms such as ear pain, rashes, fevers, depression and generally feeling unwell.

n Visit your minor injuries unit or walk-in centre for injuries such as deep cuts, eye injuries, severe sprains, minor head injuries, minor burns, scalds and bites.

People are also advised to make sure they have enough medication to get them through Christmas and new year.