Health Help Now is a website which has been optimised for use on mobile devices that have internet access. This means it can be used on any smartphone or tablet with an internet browser. Health Help Now can also be accessed via desktop and laptop computers with internet access. It is suitable for everyone to use. Under 16s should use the product in conjunction with their parents.
If you require urgent treatment for symptoms which are not listed on Health Help Now, please ring NHS 111.
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.
Health Help Now has been developed with input from local GPs, hospital doctors, and other health professionals. It lists common symptoms and offers suggestions for treatment. The one which works best for most people is listed first and the other suggestions follow in order. Health Help Now then links through to local services, and shows whether they are open or closed and their location.
For patients using an alternative to A&E could mean:
- More convenient service
- Little or no time in a waiting room
- Treatment by professionals who are experts in common illnesses and injuries – rather than A&E staff who specialise in emergencies.
For the NHS this could mean
- Faster treatment for people who are seriously hurt or ill
- Better use of staff and NHS funds
By using Health Help Now you are helping the NHS save A&E for those who really need it.