NURSES and doctors from Great Western Hospital are reminding people of all the healthcare options available which can ease the strain on the emergency services over the festive period.

The GWH team have to find at least 75 beds each day for patients who need to be admitted into hospital as an emergency and believe that some patients could have avoided a hospital stay last winter if they had been seen by a healthcare professional before they had become so unwell.

Simple things like getting the flu jab, visiting the nearest pharmacy, keeping warm and staying active can help keep residents around town well during the winter.

Leighton Day, Associate Director of Operational Performance, said: “Although winter doesn’t necessarily mean more patients for the hospital, with colder weather and viruses such as flu in the mix, it means we see a larger proportion of sicker patients, with more complex needs.

“We’re asking local people to look out for each other this winter and seek help before their condition becomes more serious.

“People should call the free NHS 111 phone number, available 24/7, and the team will arrange an appointment for you with one of these local services, if they think you need one.”

The NHS is also urging people to look out for the elderly this winter and if they start to feel unwell, even if it's a cough or a cold, don't wait until it gets more serious, seek advice from a pharmacist or NHS 111 early on.

Anyone with an urgent health concern who can’t wait to see a GP can turn up without an appointment to the Urgent Care Centre at GWH, open 7am until midnight every day.

Swindon NHS Health Centre, based in Islington Street, has a walk-in centre open from 8am until 6pm daily for anyone who has a health concern and can’t wait to see their GP or isn’t registered with a GP practice.

To find out more about healthcare options in Swindon visit or call NHS 111.