The NHS in Kent and Medway has a free website and app to help you find the right treatment, especially when you are not sure what to do or who to contact.
Whether you have a baby with a high temperature, a child who is being sick, a teenager who is feeling low or you have sprained your ankle and for many other health problems, the Health Help Now app can guide you to the service that will help you best.
Health Help Now lists common symptoms for people of all ages and helps you find the best place for treatment for them in the local area. It shows the nearest services, whether they are open or closed, and provides a map of their location and directions.
Health Help Now aims to help people find the right service in Kent and Medway for their health needs, especially when they need medical help fast but it is not a life-threatening emergency.
There are almost 500,000 visits to Accident and Emergency departments (A&E) in Kent and Medway every year. Forty per cent of them do not result in any treatment.
That does not mean those people are all in the wrong place. It is important for some conditions to be checked in A&E even if no treatment is needed. But national statistics suggest that between 75,000 and 150,000 of those visits to Kent and Medway A&Es could have been dealt with better by a different NHS service – such as pharmacists, GPs, or minor injuries nurses.
Surveys in Kent and Medway show that between 50 and 70 per cent of patients do not try anywhere else first before going to A&E
New features available on the Apple and Android versions include a health wallet, where users can make notes about symptoms or questions they may need to ask a GP, keep a list of health appointments and contacts, save favourite pages from Health Help Now and view other useful apps. Health Help Now also offers reliable health advice and links to other useful websites. It works on smartphones, tablets, and computers.
Knowing what to do when you need health help now can be confusing. That’s why we’ve created a booklet to help you not only keep well, but also find the right health treatment when you need it.
Among the useful advice about staying well all year round, there is information on how to look after everyday illnesses, and top tips for keeping a check on your mental wellbeing.
If you become ill or are injured you can find details of your local services, such as late night pharmacies and where to go for treatment for a minor injury, and information on what to do if your GP practice is closed.
If you have a friend, neighbour or relative who does not have access to the internet, why not print the booklet out and give it to them? There is even space for them to write their own health contact details – handy if these are needed in a hurry.