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Use NHS 111 online service to protect busy A&Es, says health chief

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Use NHS 111 online service to protect busy A&Es, says health chief

People are being urged to go online if they need care for something urgent but not life-threatening, instead of rushing to busy A&E departments, as the health service faces a “winter like no other”.

NHS England’s national medical director, Prof Stephen Powis, said the coming months are likely to be “extremely tough” due to pressures from a combination of Covid-19 and seasonal flu.

Television advertisements, social media posts and billboards all form part of the “Help Us, Help You” campaign, promoting the NHS 111 online service, aimed at giving advice and support to patients with urgent but not life-threatening medical issues.

NHS England said the online service can direct patients to urgent treatment centres and walk-in clinics, GP surgeries, pharmacies and emergency dental services. If needed, the patient can have a call with a healthcare professional.

It comes as health leaders warned of pressures on hospitals, and ambulance services told of having “lost” 35,000 hours through queueing outside busy emergency departments.

The latest performance data for England shows that the NHS experienced its busiest September on record.

Major A&E departments treated more than 1.39 million people during September, the highest ever for the month.

Ambulances responded to a record 76,000 life threatening call-outs, while 999 took nearly 1m calls in September.

NHS 111 also saw record demand, taking a call every seven seconds and more than 1.9m calls in total across August.

Powis said: “As we approach an extremely tough winter like no other, using NHS 111 online first will ensure everyone who needs medical advice can access it quickly and conveniently, alongside other services, while allowing us to care for the most seriously ill and injured patients in our A&Es.

“So, if you need urgent care but it is not life-threatening, visit 111 online first – we will put you in touch with a healthcare professional if needed and help you get the treatment you need – and please continue to come forward for care, including through 111, your pharmacist or GP if you prefer.”

He also stressed the importance of people taking up the offer of a “life-saving” Covid jab as well as the flu vaccine if eligible.

On Saturday, one ambulance service declared a critical incident in the face of “extreme pressures” and an “overwhelming” volume of calls.

South Central ambulance service – covering Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire and Oxfordshire – pleaded with the public to be wise when considering whether to call, reminding people that ambulances should only be called in the event of life-threatening illnesses and injuries.

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Health

F.G Approves Establishment Of Teaching Hospital In Taraba

The establishment of a Federal teaching hospital in Taraba State has been approved by the Federal Government.

Approved by President Muhammadu Buhari, the teaching hospital is to be sited at the federal university in Wukari Local Government Area of the State.

In a letter dated 26th of September 2022, the President gave the nod to the leadership of the institution to go ahead with the establishment of the health institution.

The letter which was signed on behalf of the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, by the Director of Health, Teaching Hospital Division, Dr. Noah Andrew, urged the leadership of the university to make sure that all the needed facilities are in place.

“I am directed to refer to a letter dated 2nd September 2022 referenced SGF 6/T/380 from the Secretary of the Government of the Federation to inform you that His Excellency, President Mohammadu Buhari, has graciously approved the establishment of a federal teaching hospital for the federal University, Wukari, Taraba State”, the letter read in part.

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Health

Kaduna Enrolls 136,507 Into Health Scheme

The Kaduna state government has disclosed that it has enrolled about 136,507 poor and vulnerable population into the Kaduna State health insurance scheme.

Head of Administration and Finance, Kaduna State Contributory Health Management Authority (KADCHMA), Mr Suleiman Mustapha, disclosed this in Kaduna, during a one-day Roundtable Dialogue on maternal and child health.

The Maternal and Child Health-Civil Society (MCH-CS) Partnership with support from Save the Children International organised the round table.

Mustapha said 79,329 poor and vulnerable populations were enroled for free basic health under the one per cent consolidated revenue of the state government.

According to him, the state government had so far released N1.1 billion to cover the basic health care services of the poor and vulnerable.

He also said an additional 50,648 poor and vulnerable population were enroled under the Basic Health Care Provision Fund, adding that a total of N1.1 billion had also been contributed to cover their healthcare.

KADCHMA Executive Secretary , Mr Abubakar Hassan, said the agency was established in February 2018 and began provision of health services in June 2020.

According to him, the health scheme is part of the state’s human capital development and social protection strategy for all residents.

 

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Health

55,000 Die Of Rabies Annually In Nigeria- USAID

The United States Agency For International Development USAID has disclosed that at least 55, 000 Nigerians die of rabies every year.

It said rabid dogs account for about 94 percent of confirmed human infections.

This was revealed by Mieko Mckay, Deputy Office Director for Health, USAID Nigeria, in Abuja on Monday during the launch of the National Strategic Plan for Elimination of Dog-Mediated Human Rabies in Nigeria.

The event was organized by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in collaboration with the Federal of Health and Breakthrough ACTION -Nigeria and other partners ahead of this year’s World Rabies Day.

Country Representative, World Health Organisation, Walter Mulombo, represented by his deputy, Alexander Chimbaru, said there were recent cases in Gombe and Enugu States.

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