Health bosses tell patients to stock up with medicines for bank holiday

PUBLISHED: 16:00 23 August 2018

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Health professionals are reminding people not to clog up hospital A&E departments unnecessarily over the bank holiday weekend.

With a three-day weekend on the horizon, some GP practices and other services will not be available as normal.

But that does not mean hospitals are the only place to get 24/7 care, according to Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Groups (BNSSG CCG).

GP and clinical lead for unplanned care at BNSSG CCG, Dr Lesley Ward, said: “Bank holidays are always a busy time of year but people can take simple steps to make sure they and their families stay well.”

But BNSSG CCG believes most difficulties can be avoided with a bit of forward planning, such as by getting prescriptions and tablets such as paracetamol in early.

Dr Ward said: “Making sure you have the medicines you need to last the weekend is one important step to make sure you’re not caught out by bank holiday closures.

“We hope everyone enjoys a happy and healthy time, but if you do need healthcare urgently, but it’s not an emergency, please do remember to phone 111 for advice on where to go.

“Our A&E departments are always busy on bank holidays so by using the right service for your needs, you’ll also be helping them to do their job.”

Clevedon’s minor injuries unit will be open as usual from 8am-9pm, but Weston General Hospital’s A&E department again will not be available overnight due to its staffing difficulties.

BNSSG recommends people try emergency pharmacists as a first port of call, or the NHS’ 111 number if necessary and seek advice that way.

Dr Ward said: “Don’t forget that there are lots of pharmacies open who can provide expert and confidential advice for minor ailments as well as advice on medication, contraception and sexual health.

“You’ll find details of the nearest one on our website.”

People in need of emergency care should call 999 as normal.

For information on which pharmacies are open this weekend, visit www.bnssgccg.nhs.uk

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