Picture of health: Christine and Neil Hamilton

Neil Hamilton, AM for Mid & West Wales, and Leader of UKIP Wales, is urging constituents in his Region to be ‘Health Aware’ this Christmas.

He is backing a call from Hywel Dda University Health Board, who are encouraging people in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire, to look after themselves and their families, and help the NHS, by getting themselves ready for the festive period.

Mr Hamilton said: “As we approach Christmas Day, it is very important that people should take a moment to think about their health and wellbeing, especially at this busy time of the year. “In order to ease the pressure on the NHS, we all need to take simple precautions to make sure we can look after ourselves during the holiday period.

“Repeat prescriptions need to be ordered in good time and medicine cabinets stocked with appropriate medication and first aids items. I would also urge anyone who is in a high risk group to have the flu jab. It takes seconds and can prevent weeks of debilitating illness. By being ’Health Aware’ and prepared we will can all ease the pressure on our over-stretched NHS.”

Hywel Dda Health Board’s clinical lead for unscheduled care, consultant Jeremy Williams, said: “Many people attending our Emergency Departments are very sick and are attending appropriately, but some have conditions of a lesser severity, which would be best assessed and treated by other health care providers.

“The best way the public can assist the NHS is to ensure they and their families are using health services appropriately. This will mean they are seen by the most appropriate person, in the quickest time possible, avoiding delays for themselves and others, and ultimately helping us to save lives.”

Many community pharmacists can help with many support and treatments. A list of common ailments which may be treatable by your local pharmacists can be found at http://www.hywelddahb.wales.nhs.uk/communitypharmacy or for more information on your nearest services at www.hywelddahb.wales.nhs.uk/choosewell.

Contact your GP if you are unwell, and if it is out of surgery hours, you will be automatically transferred to the out-of-hours service. If you do not know what service you require then call NHS Direct Wales on 0845 46 47 (or dial 111 if you are a patient in Carmarthenshire).

For urgent social care out of hours call: Carmarthenshire – 01558 824283, Ceredigion – 0845 6015392 and Pembrokeshire – 08708 509508. If you are worried about the way you are feeling or behaving, or you are struggling to manage on your own, speak to your GP or ring the C.A.L.L. Mental Health Helpline on 0800 132 737, text ‘help’ to 81066 or visit www.callhelpline.org.uk In a healthcare emergency which is life threatening, you should call 999.

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