NHS plans for more snow

PUBLISHED: 18:06 09 January 2010 | UPDATED: 11:32 25 May 2010

WITH extreme weather conditions expected to continue into this week NHS North Somerset has put contingency plans into place to ensure patients carry on being cared for.

WITH extreme weather conditions expected to continue into this week NHS North Somerset has put contingency plans into place to ensure patients carry on being cared for.

Moderate to severe snowfalls have been predicted by the Met Office for Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.

All local hospitals, GP practices, dentists and pharmacies within North Somerset are at present open as usual but several pharmacies have said they will be changing their opening hours in response to the predicted weather forecast.

However, contingency plans are in place so that patients can be redirected to alternative pharmacies and all patients should check with their local pharmacy to confirm that opening hours have not changed.

North Somerset Council has agreed to prioritise the gritting of hospital car parks and the pavements outside GP surgeries once all main routes have been treated with salt or grit.

Meanwhile NHS North Somerset Community Services are continuing to provide support to the A&E department at Weston General Hospital and community staff are concentrating on providing services to the most vulnerable people.

Members of the public are advised to consult with NHS Direct, local pharmacists and minor injury units over minor illnesses and injuries.

Patients requesting ambulatory oxygen (oxygen to take out and about with them) may be rescheduled, but these patients will have supplies to use in their home.

Ambulance services are continuing to respond to 999 calls for genuine emergencies but will not be carrying out routine patient transport.

Transport for urgent treatment for conditions such as chemotherapy and renal dialysis will continue as usual.

With road conditions worsening and more snow expected, NHS North Somerset would ask that the public use common sense and only call 999 for a true emergency.

GP out of hours services will continue as normal.

If you need urgent advice about a medical or health care problem during 'Out of Hours' that cannot wait until the GP surgery re-opens please contact the GP Out of Hours Service on 0845 121 0235.

NHS Direct is available at www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk and on 0845 46 47.

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