We’re an artsy bunch over here. Or at least we try to be, and some of us knock it out of the park. For instance, check out this amazing poem by Staywell Dorset’s resident poet laureate, Laurence Lagrue, about winter, NHS services and what to do if you’re unwell this winter. It’s a cracker.


Well, it’s not like they haven’t told us
They’ve warned us of wintery scenes
If you just take a look, all over Facebook
There’s loads of those “cold weather” memes.

Though we’d be forgiven for feeling sceptical
About this year’s winter outlook so bleak.
As every woman and man, still has this summer’s tan
Topped up weekly at “Tan-Tastique”

But the fact is, the weather’s turned colder;
Darker evenings, with a wind that’s quite chill
And at this time of year, more people fall sick I fear
But’s what’s the right thing to do when you’re ill?

As you know, we are blessed in this country
With a health service that’s second to none
If it’s an emergency or planned, great services are at hand
But how do you choose the right one?

Fear not! For there is a solution
An easy way to help you decide
From having skin that’s quite sore, to being at Death’s door
Here’s a handy and very useful guide:

Your local Pharmacy is a fountain of knowledge
That can help with the most common conditions and stuff
Like if your skin in inflamed and causing discomfort and pain
Because you’re allergic to your own belly button fluff

If that’s you, with your sore belly button
The pharmacy can give you advice
And perhaps suggest creams that will lessen your screams
And soon have your tummy feeling nice.

If your ailment occurs out of hours
Or has worsened and you’re not sure what to do
If you don’t know what you’ve done, just call 111
And they’ll quickly be able to help you.

When you call, you’ll connect to a trained advisor
Who can direct you to the most appropriate care
From Northumberland to Devon, you can call 24/7
And they’ll help you out right then and there.

But if things have got a bit nasty:
Broken bones, minor burns, injured chest
If you’re quite in some pain, from an ankle you sprained
Then an Urgent Treatment Centre is best.

Also known as a Minor Injuries Unit
They can help you with all such wounds.
And won’t judge with distain, or make you explain
Just how you sat on that wooden spoon.

But, if your life is in danger
Of the life of someone you love
Don’t mess about, and give 999 a shout
Or get yourself to A&E, not any of the above

As the name suggests, this is for emergencies
The most serious cases we mean.
In a life threatening situation, for example needing resuscitation
Then the emergency department is where you should be seen.

This advice applies to us all, throughout the year
But in the winter it is even more key
To carefully choose the service to use
So everyone can be helped properly.

So it’s pharmacy for rashes and headaches
111 if you’re suddenly short of breath
For a small wound to your chest, Minor Injuries units are best
Then 999 / A&E for risk of death.

Yes the NHS is here to help us
But we need to help ourselves too
If eating four tubes of Pringles has set off your shingles
Then you need to judge sensibly what to do.;

We don’t all need to go to A&E
If we’re ill or we slip and we fall.
Although it’s easy to panic, staying calm and not manic
Will mean that the right services will be accessible for all.


See? Belting! If you liked this poem, and wanted to read more of what Laurence has to offer, you can check out his latest over at his blog, W is for Duck.