NHS yellow men take over Lewisham Shopping Centre
Anyone passing through Lewisham shopping centre on Wednesday 18 December will have seen seven foot tall ‘Yellow Men' with various ailments.
The giant statues are part of an eye-catching NHS campaign running across south east London to explain that people should only go to A&E when it is absolutely necessary.
They also let people know of the often quicker and easier alternatives. Winter is a busy time for the health service and in particular for hospital A&E departments.
The campaign aims to help people to understand what health services they should use when they are ill and remind them that A&E is only for serious and life threatening emergencies. The yellow men have also appeared across Lewisham on billboards, in Lewisham Life and are appearing on buses.
According to national surveys 39% of A&E attendances could have been treated elsewhere. Across south east London A&Es see around 1500 patients a day and this figure increases over the winter months.
The yellow men are highlighting the alternative places people can get the expert advice and treatment they need, including: taking care of themselves at home,GPs, pharmacies and when to come to the urgent care service and A&E.
Lewisham GP and Chair of NHS Lewisham Clinical Commissioning Group, Dr Marc Rowland said, “We hope that this campaign will grab everyone’s attention and help our residents to understand that A&E is not always the answer.
There are other alternative and more appropriate places to go when you have a minor illness or injury. Please help us to relieve the pressure on local services and use your NHS wisely”.
The campaign is supported by a website www.notalwaysAandE.co.uk
where visitors can find the nearest service to then to help treat their illness or injury.
You can also download a copy of the information leaflet at www.lewishamccg.nhs.uk
Pictured are left to right, Dr Marc Rowland, Martin Wilkinson, Chief Officer for the CCG and Andy Maxted from the London Ambulance Service.