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Choose well over the twelve days of #NHSXmas - 23 December 2011

Imperial College Healthcare is tweeting the ‘Twelve Days of #NHSXmas’ to help Londoners choose the right service for them over the festive period.

The Trust is using twitter alongside NHS Trusts across London to urge local people to Choose Well this Christmas with a series of tweets based on the Christmas Carol ’Twelve Days of Christmas’.  

Beginning on Christmas Day, each of the twelve days will bring a new rhyming tweet about a seasonal ailment and the best place to get it treated during the holidays – simply follow the hashtag #NHSXmas.

While for most people the Christmas period is a time for relaxing at home with the family, it can be a very busy time of year for the capital’s doctors and nurses with cold weather and seasonal viruses such as flu doing the rounds.  

Whether you’ve slipped and fallen on the ice; cut your hand carving the turkey; or strained your back putting up the tree, choosing the right NHS service for your symptoms means you’ll be seen quickly and get the treatment you need.  It also eases the pressure on A&E and 999 services meaning they can concentrate on helping those with life-threatening conditions who are most in need of their care.

With over 76,000 people following London NHS organisations like Imperial on Twitter, the Choose Well campaign hopes to reach out to Londoners this Xmas with examples of illness and injuries typical at this time of year and advice on where they can best be treated.

So if you feel unwell this Christmas, help us to help you by thinking carefully about what care you need.  It’s really important to remember that 999 and A&E services are only for seriously ill people and emergencies.  

Follow @ImperialNHS this Christmas for the latest Twelve Days of #NHSXmas tweets.  

Choose Well this festive season, and have a happy, healthy #NHSXmas.

Ends

Notes to editors

1. For more information, please contact the NHS London Communications Team on 0207 932 3911 or email media@london.nhs.uk.  Outside of office hours (08:30 to 18:00, Monday to Friday), please call 0844 8222888 and ask for pager LON01.

2. The ‘Choose Well’ campaign aims to help people make an informed choice so that they choose the right NHS services, depending on the severity of their symptoms.  Choosing the right NHS services helps patients get the right care in the shortest time possible.  Choosing well also helps to ensure that ambulance and emergency services are able to care quickly for the most seriously ill.  For example:

3. People should not go to A&E if they suspect they have flu. Most people with flu recover at home, however if you have flu-like symptoms, it is important that you call your GP if:

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