BEAT the scrum at A&E by listening to the advice of some of your Super League sporting heroes.

Players and coaches from Widnes Vikings are leading a new campaign to reduce pressure on the NHS.

Runcorn and Widnes World:

The Vikings have teamed up with NHS Halton Clinical Commissioning Group to create a series of videos to educate  people on how to make the right choices when accessing NHS services. 

The aim of the campaign is to relieve pressures faced by vital NHS services, such as accident and emergency departments at hospitals.

The campaign sees the Vikings’ squad take part in around 20 short features. 

Footage includes players filling a corridor at Whiston Hospital’s accident and emergency department and encouraging viewers to beat the scrum at A&E, as well as Vikings head coach Denis Betts giving his troops a team talk on the playing formation of Halton’s NHS services.

Joe Mellor, Vikings’ co-captain, said: “With £250,000 being spent locally on people accessing A&E who should have been treated elsewhere, the campaign has a really important aim. We hope our supporters enjoy the videos and get behind this effort.” 

A key priority of the campaign is to raise awareness of the 
urgent care centres in Widnes and Runcorn.

“These services provide treatment for injuries or conditions that require urgent attention but are not serious or life-threatening. 

Boasting specialist staff and facilities, they provide an effective alternative to A&E, treating broken bones, wounds and bites. 

The average waiting time at an A&E department is around four hours, while in Halton’s two  urgent care services people are treated in around 57 minutes. 

Dave Sweeney, chief operating officer for NHS Halton CCG, said: “We are delighted to launch this campaign. 

“At a time when the NHS faces real pressure to save money and ensure that its resources are  being used in the most effective way possible, this campaign has a vital message.

“The Vikings are the focal point of our community, and by having the club deliver such a fun and unique video series we are sure that we will raise awareness. 

“We have some fantastic NHS services locally. If people access the ones that are right for their needs we can ensure that we deliver the best care to our community.”