Self-care, a local pharmacist or NHS 111 might be all you need for minor illness or ailments
GPs and health professionals across Somerset are reminding members of the public to stop and think this May Bank Holiday and avoid going to a busy hospital Accident and Emergency Department with only minor ailments or illness.
Dr Ed Ford, a Minehead GP and Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group’s Urgent Care Lead said: “Help yourself and the NHS this May Day and get the right treatment for your level of illness or injury.
“If you only have a minor illness or ailments then visit your local pharmacist. They can help with expert advice and over-the-counter remedies. If you need urgent medical advice but it is not a life threatening emergency then telephone NHS 111. Their call handlers can tell you anything from where to find an emergency dentist to getting you an out-of-hours' doctor.”
Here are some treatment options if you or a family member becomes ill over the bank holiday:
Having a few basic items in your bathroom medicine cabinet can save you time and effort should you become ill. Items like paracetamol, a bandage, sticking plasters, antiseptic cream or indigestion tablets. If troublesome symptoms persist or worsen see your GP.
There is more advice online at: www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Pharmacy/Pages/Yourmedicinecabinet.aspx
VISIT YOUR LOCAL PHARMACIST:
If you feeling unwell and need advice visit your pharmacy. You can find your nearest pharmacist by searching online at: www.nhs.uk or by telephoning 111.
TELEPHONE NHS 111:
Telephone 111 when you need medical advice or information quickly, but it’s not a 999 life threatening emergency. Calls are free from mobiles and landlines to this 24/7 service.
You should also call 111 if you become ill after your GP surgery has closed and need urgent advice or medical help. You will be assessed, given advice and directed straight away to the local service that will help you best.
VISIT YOUR GP:
If you have a persistent health problem that is not going away make an appointment to see your GP. There are 75 GP surgeries across the county providing a range of services by appointment, including medical advice, examinations and prescriptions.
Should you become ill after your GP surgery has closed ring your surgery’s telephone number and listen to the answer phone message or telephone 111 for advice.
A number of GP practices will be open over the May Bank Holiday period to help the health system manage demand and reduce the likelihood of patients with urgent primary medical issues presenting to A&E. The scheme is an urgent walk in, sit and wait service for any patient, regardless of where the patient is registered. To see a list of GP practices which will be open click here
Remember to re-order any prescriptions you need a week before the Bank Holiday.
YEOVIL HEALTH CENTRE:
Located on the top floor of Boots in Middle Street the centre is open every day of the year and from 8am until 8pm. Yeovil Health Centre also provides emergency contraception and sexual health advice and treatment.
Normal GP and nurse care is available as well as quick and convenient health checks including blood pressure and cholesterol. No appointment is necessary; walk in for prompt attention. Telephone 01935 709 269 www.yeovilhealthcentre.nhs.uk/
COMMUNITY HOSPITAL MINOR INJURY UNIT:
There are Minor Injury Units at community hospitals in Bridgwater, Burnham-on-Sea, Chard, Frome, Glastonbury, Minehead and Shepton Mallet.
If your injury is not serious you can get help from a minor injuries unit (MIU) rather than a busy hospital A&E department. By doing so you allow A&E staff to concentrate on people with serious and life-threatening conditions and save yourself a potentially long wait.
To check your local MIU’s location and opening hours telephone 111 or go to: www.sompar.nhs.uk/our_services/adult_services/minor_injuries_unit
ACCIDENT AND EMERGENCY:
Only use hospital A&E or the 999 ambulance service for life threatening and emergency conditions. If a friend or relative is experiencing chest pain, has become unconscious, or is experiencing a life threatening medical emergency, telephone 999 immediately and ask for an ambulance.
For further information on how to protect yourself and your family this Easter please visit www.nhs.uk.