HEALTH chiefs are calling on patients to help take responsibility for the NHS in a bid to tackle growing pressure on services.

The NHS Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) say people must make the right choice this year when it comes to urgent health care, treatment, and advice.

Inappropriate trips to A&E are also being targeted in the CCG’s latest campaign, which aims to educate patients the different options available — such as a patient’s own GP, seeking advice from a local pharmacist, and self care.

Dr Barry Silvert, clinical director for integrated commissioning at the CCG, said patients have a duty to use NHS services responsibly.

Dr Silvert said: “I hope lots of people in our borough will make it their new year’s resolution to be in the right place when they need urgent health care, treatment or advice, whether this is A&E, their GP surgery, the local pharmacy, or simply resting at home.

"NHS Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group is committed to ensuring that patients are seen by the right person, at the right place and time.

“This is essential if we are to improve patient safety and the quality of care. However, we cannot do this alone — everyone has a duty to use health services responsibly.”

Patients are also being urged to treat NHS staff with respect and not miss appointments.

Some minor illnesses or injuries are best treated at home, while pharmacists can offer advice on minor infections, bites and stings, diarrhoea and a host of other minor ailments.

GP appointments should be used for coughs that will not clear up and other, more serious illnesses.

People should only visit A&E if they have serious and life-threatening conditions, such as suspected strokes, chest pains or broken bones The CCG’s campaign will end in February but health chiefs say the NHS needs the support of people in Bolton all year round.

The NHS Constitution sets out the rights of patients as well as what the NHS requires from them in return.