Health experts at NHS Yorkshire and the Humber are urging people in the region to choose services wisely during the break.
While some GP practices and pharmacies will open over the bank holiday, many will be closed so people are being encouraged to make sure they have enough medication at home to deal with minor injuries and common ailments like coughs, sneezes and stomach upsets.
By following the ‘Choose Well’ advice (below) people can also make sure they get the right treatment from the most appropriate NHS service.
· Hangover, sore throat or cough? Self care is the best choice when treating very minor illnesses and injuries
· Unwell or unsure? Call NHS Direct. If you are unsure or have any questions, call 0845 4647 or log on to www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk
· Diarrhoea, runny nose, painful cough or headache? Visit your local pharmacy. Your local pharmacist is a highly trained healthcare professional and can give you the advice and medicines you need to treat yourself when you have a common health problem which does not require attention from a doctor or nurse.
· Vomiting, ear pain, stomach ache or back ache? See your doctor. Make an appointment with your local GP when you have an illness or injury that will not go away.
· Cuts, rashes or strains? Visit a NHS walk-in centre or minor injuries unit. If you need medical treatment or advice which does not need a visit to A&E, an NHS walk-in centre or minor injuries unit is the best choice. You do not need to make an appointment and you will be seen by an experienced nurse.
· Choking, chest pain, severe bleeding or blacking out? Go to A&E or call 999. If you need immediate emergency care for serious illness or life-threatening situations go to A&E or call 999.
Paul Johnstone, director for public health for NHS North of England, said:
“By making sure you have everything you need ahead of the bank holiday you will give yourself the best chance of avoiding a trip to your GP or the A&E department.
“There are a number of different things people can do to manage many conditions they may be living with. For example, making sure you collect your repeat prescription in good time will mean you’re well equipped for the break.
“If you need to use NHS services, by looking at the sort of services which are on offer you can choose the most appropriate place for you, this will help you get the sort of care you need and also help to alleviate pressure on A&E services.”
For further information contact:
NHS Yorkshire and the Humber, part of NHS North of England