BOROUGH public health chiefs are asking Wiganers to show a kind heart over the bank holiday weekend and call in on elderly neighbours.
Experts have started a campaign of initiatives to keep residents out of hospital by pre-empting a number of common ailments.
And Dr Tim Dalton, chair of the Wigan Borough Clinical Commissioning Group (WBCCG), said even a short visit to an elderly relative can have a significant positive impact.
He said: “It’s a good idea to look out for your elderly relative or neighbours this weekend.
“They will welcome the company and if they are unwell your local pharmacist may be able to provide advice to help manage their care without any appointments or queues.
“A bad cough, trouble breathing, a cold or sore throat can get worse quickly and pharmacists are a highly trained and trusted source of health advice who are always pleased to help.
“Pharmacists have longer opening hours than GP practices. You don’t need an appointment to see one, and many have a consultation area when you can speak privately.
“They’ll also tell you if they think your relative or neighbour should see a GP.”
Wigan Infirmary’s A&E department coped with an unprecedented demand at the turn of the year, in line with a waiting times crisis across the country.
And so health organisations across the borough have teamed up to relieve the pressure on emergency departments by referring residents to other NHS services.
For all non-emergency treatments, Wiganers are urged to visit either local pharmacy or the walk-in centre at Leigh Infirmary. Or to contact the NHS advice line on 111.