With the August Bank Holiday fast approaching, the local NHS is reminding people to plan ahead to see them through the Bank Holiday safely.
- Order any regular medicines you need to take, so you don’t run out
- Don’t leave health problems so they get worse – no-one wants to call for an ambulance or out of hours doctor at the weekend when you could have been helped sooner.
Planning ahead like this is very important to help stay well and it also helps the NHS at a time when services are busy.
Dr Andrew Catto, Chief Medical Officer at Integrated Care 24, said: “Our NHS 111 service is free to call, and available 24/7 when patients need medical help fast but it is not an emergency situation. However, during Bank Holiday weekends we receive a very high volume of calls from patients who have run out of routine repeat medication and need help accessing a repeat prescription, so try and plan ahead as much as possible. By ensuring that you have enough repeat medication to see you through the long weekend you will not only help reduce the pressure on local health services, but you will give yourself the best chance of staying well.”
Clinical pharmacist John Higgins works in a team based in Norwich GP practices, supporting GPs in prescribing and working with patients to ensure they have the right prescription medicines.
He said: “Most GP surgeries will be closed over the Bank Holiday and whilst there are always pharmacies open, prescription medicines must be ordered in good time.
“Your local pharmacist is a valuable resource - they can provide advice, offer services such as contraception, over-the-counter medicines to treat many health problems and of course can provide repeat prescriptions. If you have elderly relatives or neighbours, ask them if they need help collecting their medications.”
It is also important to make sure medicine cabinets contain all the essential items, including:
• painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen, including versions for children
• over-the-counter cough, cold, flu and indigestion remedies
• antiseptic cream
You can find out more about how to look after yourself and your family at home at https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/your-medicine-cabinet
Everyone can do their bit, such as popping in to see any neighbours or relatives who live on their own or who may need support, to make sure they’re OK
But if you have an urgent medical problem over the bank holiday weekend and it is not an emergency, this is what you can do:
• Ask your local pharmacist. Pharmacies open over the Bank Holiday can be found at www.england.nhs.uk/mids-east/our-work/pharm-info/
• Check to see if your GP Practice is open
• Visit the walk-in centre in Rouen Road, Norwich, open 7am-9pm every day
• If you suffer a minor injury visit the Cromer Minor Injuries Unit, open 8am to 7.45pm seven days a week.
• Call 111 for advice.