The World Health Organization defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity,” which implies that this concept goes beyond the existence or lack of existence illnesses. Consequently, more than just healthy living, we must talk about a healthy lifestyle that includes food, physical exercise, preventive healthcare, work, the relationship with the environment, and social activity. Much of our health is controllable at this level with lifestyle factors, socio-economic, cultural and environmental conditions.
Self-care is appropriate when you have a minor condition which doesn’t normally need medical care (from a doctor or nurse) or any treatment in order to get better. Self-care can involve using medicines and treatments that are available over the counter or in the community or by following advice by a reputable and trusted online source, such as www.nhs.uk or 111.nhs.uk If you have a long-term condition, self-care is about understanding that condition and how to live with it.
Community pharmacies are one of the most frequented health care settings in England, with 1.2 million health-related visits every day. With their presence in most high streets, many rural communities, and in the places where we shop, access healthcare and enjoy our leisure time, community pharmacies are a local health and social asset interwoven with our daily lives in a way that few other professions can claim.
Pharmacies have an important role to play in helping society to protect health and well- being and prevent ill-health in their everyday lives. Many pharmacies now offer a range of services including chlamydia screening and treatment, stop smoking service, blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar testing.
See our map here for Ebbsfleet Garden City’s local pharmacies.
Community health services cover an extensive and diverse range of activities. Services are delivered in a wide range of settings – including in people’s own homes as well as in community clinics, community centres and schools.
The range and configuration of services vary between local areas. They commonly include adult community nursing, specialist long-term condition nursing, therapy services, preventive services such as sexual health and smoking cessation clinics, and child health services including health visiting and school nursing.
The community and voluntary sector play a huge part in supporting healthy lifestyles, for example through services and activities that support active lifestyles, tackle social isolation and mental health.
You can get help from a GP for free, but you’ll usually need to make an appointment. Your local general GP surgery provides a wide range of family health services, including advice on health problems, vaccinations, examinations and treatment, prescriptions for medicines, referrals to other health services and social services. GPs usually work with a team including nurses, health visitors and midwives, as well as a range of other health professionals such as physiotherapists and occupational therapists. If further tests or treatment is needed, the GP can arrange this locally and if needed hospital investigation and referral can be arranged
See our map here for Ebbsfleet Garden City’s local GP practices.
NHS 111 was introduced to make it easier to access local NHS healthcare services in England. NHS 111 should be used when medical help is needed fast but it’s not a 999 emergency. NHS 111 is a fast and easy way to get the right help, whatever the time. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones.
A&E and Urgent Care
An A&E department (also known as emergency department or casualty) deals with genuine life-threatening emergencies, such as:
• loss of consciousness
• acute confused state and fits that are not stopping
• chest pain
• breathing difficulties
• severe bleeding that cannot be stopped
• severe allergic reactions
• severe burns or scalds
• stroke – Use FAST to remember and recognize the following signs and symptoms of stroke:
F: Face drooping. Ask the person to smile and see if one side is drooping. …
A: Arm weakness. Ask the person to raise both arms. …
S: Speech difficulty. …
T: Time to call 999
• major trauma such as a road traffic accident
Less severe injuries can be treated in urgent care centres or minor injuries units. A&E is not an alternative to a GP appointment.
See our map here for Ebbsfleet Garden City’s local A&E and Urgent Care Centres.
To protect limited resources, it is vital that 999 is only used for immediate, life-threatening emergencies.