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The local NHS is teaming up with safety Charity SafeWise to help inform visitors about how to make the best use of local health services when they need them.

SafeWise is a local charity which offers children from Dorset schools the opportunity to learn more about their environment and reduce their risk of coming to harm.

Each year around 12,000 children use the service which currently has sites in Weymouth and Bournemouth to learn about a range of topics including fire safety and road safety.

From the beginning of October health will also be on the agenda during their visit.

A short video will be shown about when to use their local emergency department and when it would be better to seek help from elsewhere for example 111 or their local pharmacist. The video which was shot at Dorset County Hospital features clinicians talking about their experiences and when people should consider alternative care.

SafeWise is also used on a daily basis for meetings and courses which means in excess of 15,000 adults will also see the video.

Diana Newbury, Fundraiser “SafeWise is delighted to be working with the NHS.  Incorporating health education has brought together an educational programme covering all the emergency services.

The charity aims to develop knowledge and skills so that all our visitors feel empowered to make the right decisions and choices.  As part of the learning now includes appropriate use of local Emergency Departments we hope children will grow up understanding the pressures on the NHS and how, with a little knowledge, they can help to alleviate some of those pressures”.

Dr Simon Watkins, GP and Chair of Urgent and Emergency Care Clinical Delivery Group “The NHS faces huge pressures throughout the year and by working with local organisations such as SafeWise and promoting the correct use of services from an early age, we hope that future generations learn the impact that using the wrong service can have on both health care and other people who may be in greater need”.

More information on local services can be found at www.staywelldorset.nhs.uk.

Liz Packer