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Health Matters - Active Signposting

Health Matters - Active Signposting
08 August 2017

Dr Paul Bowen, clinical chair of NHS Eastern Cheshire CCG, and GP with McIlvride Medical Practice, Poynton

Next time you visit your GP surgery, a medical receptionist may well ask you to give a brief description of what’s wrong. If this happens, it’s not because they’re being nosey – it’s that they want to direct you to the most appropriate service.

Medical receptionists across our 22 GP practices have been trained and given a wide range of information as part of an Active Signposting scheme launched by the CCG to ensure you get the right help quickly when you fall ill. Our approach recognises that many common, self-limiting conditions like coughs, colds and sore throats don’t need to be treated by a GP.

Self-care is often a better approach, using remedies available over the counter without prescription. There’s lots of great advice on self-care on the NHS Choices website.

However, if you’re feeling particularly unwell, it may be wise to Think Pharmacy. Your community pharmacist is a highly-qualified healthcare professional who can write a prescription for lots of medicines. What’s more, many pharmacies have a private consulting room in which you can discuss your symptoms confidentially.

Our Active Signposting scheme is not only intended to help you get better fast, it’s also designed to ease pressure on our GPs. The Royal College of General Practitioners has established that more than 20 per cent of a GP’s time is spent treating patients who would have been better going elsewhere – without needing to make an appointment first. Therefore, Active Signposting will give GPs more time to help patients who are seriously ill or have an urgent health problem.

We are producing posters and flyers to tell patients more about Active Signposting. They should be in surgeries by early autumn so please look out for them.

 In the meantime, why not visit our website for lots of helpful advice on self-care?