Look after your health this bank holiday, doctors urge

Bank Holiday pharmacy opening – May 2016

Doctors are reminding patients of a few simple steps they can take to stay healthy over the bank holiday period.

Dr David Kelly, Chair, NHS North Kirklees Clinical Commissioning Group and local GP said: “Bank holidays are busy times of year for NHS services, so we want to remind people of the small steps they can take to ensure illness doesn’t ruin their holiday, and if they are ill to use the right services.

“Remember, your local pharmacy can give advice on a wide range of conditions and can help.  For simple accidents like sprains, you don’t always need to go to your GP practice.  If you have regular medicines it is really important to make sure you have enough medicines to see you through the bank holiday when GP surgeries are closed.”

Pharmacists are qualified experts in the use of medicines and can give advice on common symptoms, medicines and healthy living.  Many pharmacies are open over the bank holiday and patients can locate their nearest pharmacy by visiting the NHS website – www.nhs.uk  Pharmacy opening information for the bank holiday weekend can also be found on the CCG websites: www.northkirkleesccg.nhs.uk and www.greaterhuddersfieldccg.nhs.uk

The pharmacy is also the perfect place to stock up medicine cabinets. Useful items to have handy include:

  • pain relief such as paracetamol and ibuprofen (aspirin should not be given to children under 16 or to people with asthma)
  • paediatric paracetamol oral suspension or ibuprofen syrups for children
  • cough and cold remedies
  • sore throat remedies
  • anti-diarrhoea treatments
  • antihistamines
  • indigestion remedies
  • simple dressings and plasters.

GPs are also reminding people who may start to feel unwell over the holidays to check their symptoms using the NHS Symptoms Checker, also available on the NHS website, which can advise them what kind of treatment they may need. In some cases “self-care” at home could be the answer.

When medical help is needed but it is not an emergency, people can ring NHS 111 for advice and direction to the most appropriate service. NHS 111 is available 24-hours-a-day; 365-days-a-year and calls are free.

People should only use A&E or dial 999 only in critical or life-threatening situations. For example:

  • loss of consciousness
  • acute confused state and fits that are not stopping
  • persistent, severe chest pain
  • breathing difficulties
  • severe bleeding that cannot be stopped
  • severe allergic reactions
  • severe burns or scalds.

In the case of suspected heart attack or stroke call 999 immediately. Every second counts with these conditions.

Dr Steve Ollerton, Clinical Leader, NHS Greater Huddersfield CCG added: “Anyone needing advice and treatment for non-emergencies should consider options such as contacting a local pharmacist or GP surgery or a call to NHS 111.

By looking at these options first and leaving 999 and A&E only for the most serious illness and emergencies, people can often get care closer to their homes and avoid an unnecessary visit to hospital. By doing this, it frees A&E to look after serious cases and save lives.”  

ENDS.

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