Schools in Aylesbury Vale have taken part in a video and poster competition to encourage better use of local NHS services, with the winners earning a cash prize.
The competition was run by Aylesbury Vale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to help tell local people about which health services to use and when.
It says currently around 30% of people who turn up at A&E could be better helped by their local GP, pharmacist or by calling NHS 111 when they feel unwell.
The award’s ceremony was held at the Aylesbury Vale District Council’s Gateway building in Aylesbury this week when the winners were announced by a six strong judging panel. More than a hundred school children, teachers and parents attended the event.
The winning entries will be used in future campaigns to make people stop and think before turning up at A&E unnecessarily.
There were four categories of prizes for winning schools:
> VIDEO (secondary school): this was won by Sir Thomas Fremantle School and a cash prize of £300.
> VIDEO (primary school): this was won by High Ash CofE Primary School and a cash prize of £300.
> POSTER (secondary school): this was won by Sir Thomas Fremantle School and a cash prize of £200.
> POSTER (primary school): this was won by two schools: Thomas Harding Junior School and Bedgrove Junior School who each received £150
A total of 52 entries were received from both primary and secondary schools in the Aylesbury Vale area, from children aged 6 to 13.
The competition was launched in November last year and each child who took part received a certificate at the event. Pupils were asked to design a poster or make a video to remind people of the following:
> To only use A&E in life threatening situations
> To make better use of minor illness and injury clinics
> To visit their own GP practice if they feel unwell
> To telephone NHS 111 for advice on the best health service to visit for treatment
Lou Patten, chief officer at Aylesbury Vale CCG, said: “We had a marvellous response from local school children and I thank every school for taking the time and effort to take part.
“We were inundated with posters and videos of a very high standard making the task of judging very difficult.
“But it shows that we have very talented and motivated school children in Aylesbury Vale and that they have thought long and hard about the pressures on our A&E services.
“The winning entries will be used in future campaigns to highlight how important it is for people to stop and think before they turn up at A&E unnecessarily when they could be better helped seeing a GP or visiting a pharmacist.”
Jason Gibbins, the editor of the Buckingham and Winslow Advertiser who was part of the judging panel, said: ‘I was really impressed with the quality of the entries and thank all the schools that took part.
“This competition has helped school children understand better the needs of the NHS and in doing so have produced material which will help local people use health service better.”