As we approach a much anticipated Bank Holiday weekend, it is important to make sure everyone is prepared for the expected and unexpected. Have you got enough prescribed medication to last for the long weekend? Many minor injuries or illnesses can be treated at home with some simple supplies. Have you stocked up on painkillers, anti-diarrhoeal medicine, rehydration mixture, indigestion remedy and cold remedies? Also, don’t forget your first aid kit.
The NHS Choices website is a great source of advice for self-care. Another excellent source of advice is your local Pharmacy. They are experts in medicines and how medicines work. They can help with issues like emergency hormonal contraception, or ‘the morning after pill’, or minor ailments – such as conjunctivitis, cystitis, impetigo.
The bank holiday weekends always see some of the busiest days of the year for the NHS, so knowing how to access the most appropriate healthcare will save you time and ease the pressures on the NHS, especially in A&E departments.
If you need to contact a GP and your problem cannot wait until after the Bank holiday, the Out of Hours service is available by calling 111. You may be given advice on the phone or an appointment may be arranged for you to see a GP.
Minor Injury Units or Urgent Care Centres are available and can treat a range of minor injuries and illnesses, such as cuts, sprains, fractures, bites, stings and rashes.
The Emergency Department and 999 is for life threatening illnesses and injuries only, such as someone suffering unconsciousness, a suspected stroke, heavy blood loss, a deep wound, a suspected heart attack, difficulty in breathing or severe burns. . Dialling 999 or going to the ED, if you don’t need to, could delay treatment for someone more seriously ill than you.
To find out what services are available in your local area, use the NHS Website www.nhs.uk
To all our colleagues working for the NHS this Easter, we wish you well for a busy weekend and we hope you get to enjoy some time at home with your friends and family as well.
Written by Sophie McCracken 13th April 2017