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Important information: NHS currently under pressure and asking for your help

Because it is winter, the NHS is seeing more people with breathing problems. They need your help today and over this weekend.

CAS is helping to share the important messages below and is asking you to share them, as soon as possible, with your clients and networks. It explains where is appropriate for people to go for medical advice and treatment.

Advice from NHS for you to pass on to clients

Our doctors, nurses and paramedics are under a lot of pressure today, and they are asking for your help.

Most of the people we are seeing at the hospital’s Emergency Departments and at the GP surgeries need a lot of time to make sure they are treated well. This is not unusual – people who are already quite ill get a lot sicker during the colder winter months.

  • There are lots of coughs and colds about now. If a patient has been told they have a breathing issue, like asthma or allergies, get them to ask for help for their cough or cold early by asking their pharmacist.
  • Drinking eight cups of water during a day can stop bladder infections – which stops people falling over and injuring themselves or becoming confused.

We would appreciate if you would highlight these key points. You will help the person in front of you be proactive and encourage them to call for help if they need it.


In addition to asking “How are you today?” consider asking directly about their health “How is your health today. Are you feeling well?”

If they are feeling unwell or have concerns about their health, encourage them to make an appointment with their GP. A GP can deal with a health issue before it gets serious and requires a hospital admission or stay. Let them know the GP is ready and willing to help them. If you are able, check with them that they’ve made the appointment.


There is a Suffolk-based 24-hour medical helpline, NHS 111, which can offer help, advice and guidance on urgent medical matters. This means that when the GP surgery is closed and it’s not a life-threatening emergency, then they should call NHS 111. Calls are free and will be answered by a trained health advisor. This service will advise on the best course of action and will organise a visit by the out-of-hours GP if needed.


We all know how common a problem falls are to elderly people, and many end up in A&E because they’ve fallen over. Not drinking enough fluid can result in dehydration, low blood pressure, urinary tract infections and confusion – all increasing the risk of a fall.

Make sure they are drinking enough fluids. 6 – 8 glasses of non-alcoholic fluid are recommended each day. It doesn’t only have to be water that they drink. Fluids can include water, tea, coffee and soup. Encourage them to have small sips of fluid throughout the day.


The fear of falling can often cause a great deal of stress and anxiety, especially to an older person who has previously had a fall. GPs can help by carrying out a falls assessment test which check the person’s balance and walking.  If they’re worried about falling encourage them to talk with the GP.

Helpful links

Please remember that 999 & A&E are for emergencies only.
Otherwise call NHS 111 for help & advice