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The NHS yellow men are back in Southwark

Anyone passing through Peckham Square on 7 November will notice a family of seven-foot tall yellow figures with various ailments. The giant statues are part of an eye-catching NHS campaign to explain that people should only go to A&E when it is absolutely necessary.

The NHS in Southwark and south east London is building on last year's successful campaign to raise awareness about the alternatives to A&E.

Winter is a very busy time for local Accident and Emergency (A&E) departments. The season puts severe pressure on hospitals with far too many people turning up for treatment for seasonal illnesses, rather than serious life threatening emergencies. 

Last winter, 1800 patients people a day attended A&E in south east London. Based on national surveys, we know that about 800 of them could have got quicker and more appropriate treatment elsewhere.

Southwark GP and Chair of NHS Southwark CCG, Dr Jonty Heaversedge said: "We know as a result of the campaign last year Southwark residents are starting to make different choices and going to A&E less. We are running the same campaign again this year to build on this positive change."

"In Southwark our poster campaign has focused on sore throats, upset stomachs and coughs and colds because people suffering with these conditions often visit A&E when they don't need to. In most cases a visit to your local pharmacist for advice and rest at home will get you better as quickly as anything else."

Over the coming weeks the yellow figures will be appearing in posters on buses and billboards across the borough.

The campaign will be highlighting the alternative places people can get the expert advice and treatment they need locally, including: pharmacies, GP practices and Guy's Hospital Urgent Care Centre.