NHS remind people to examine their options during summer holidays

Your local NHS in Southport, Formby and West Lancashire are reminding people to prepare for holidays wisely and to examine their options should they or a family member become ill or have an accident whilst out and about over the school holidays.

NHS Southport and Formby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS West Lancashire CCG are reminding people to be organised with packing if they’re going abroad and to think about which NHS service to use should a member of the family take ill over the break.

The advice they are offering for those preparing to go abroad is:

  • Remember to take your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) card if you are going to Europe
  • Pack plenty of sun cream, always pack a high factor and specialist sunscreen for children and babies
  • Try to keep out of the sun between 11am and 3pm when on holiday
  • If you have to go out in the heat, walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a hat
  • Wear light, loose fitting cotton clothes
  • Drink plenty of cold drinks to keep hydrated

With people being out and about a lot more with the family over the school holidays, the local CCGs in Southport, Formby and West Lancashire are also reminding people that A&E and 999 services are for life-threatening and serious conditions and to remind others of this should they become unwell.

Pharmacies can offer confidential advice on minor health issues and assist with what over the counter medication you can take. Over the August bank holiday when GP practices are closed, some pharmacies will remain open to ensure people can get the support they need; you can find out which pharmacies are open and when by visiting your local CCGs website and following them on social media, where there will be on the day updates.

Dr Rob Caudwell, chair at NHS Southport and Formby CCG said: “It’s always a busy time over summer for the NHS and whilst we want you to have a good break, we are keen to remind you to use the NHS services in the right way. If you, a family member or someone you care for do become unwell do take a look at the advice on offer on which service to use depending on the health issue.

“It is a time when people become more active and make the most of being outdoors which we certainly encourage but a time when we may see more accidents and busier A&E departments. By using the services in the right way, it means that you are helping the NHS and other residents who may have a more urgent condition to be treated but always seek advice if you are unsure.”

Dr Peter Gregory, a GP in Ormskirk and GP executive lead at NHS West Lancashire CCG, said: “It’s not only important to make sure that you know where to go if you fall ill when you are at home, but also vitally important to make sure that you are fully prepared if you or a family member or friend falls ill if you go away on holiday.

“With the August Bank Holiday weekend fast approaching, it is important to prepare in advance if you require any repeat prescriptions over the weekend and to know which pharmacies are open on the Bank Holiday Monday, when GP practices will be closed.”

Feeling Unwell? – Examine Your Options

Across the area there are a range of health services to support people if they feel unwell or have any health concerns. There are services which you may be unfamiliar with, but could be more appropriate and convenient for you depending on your specific issue.

For minor ailments and injuries your best route to recover is likely to be self-care. There are a variety of services that can support you to do this:

Pharmacies

Your local pharmacy can offer free, confidential and expert advice on a range of health issues. They can help you prepare for many of the common illnesses and ensure you have a well-stocked medicine cabinet over the holiday period.

See opening times for pharmacies on August bank holiday Monday for Southport and Formby here: http://www.southportandformbyccg.nhs.uk/your-health-and-services/pharmacy-opening-times-over-the-bank-holidays/ and for West Lancashire here: http://www.westlancashireccg.nhs.uk/resources/patient-and-public-information/west-lancashire-pharmacy-bank-holiday-opening-times/

NHS.UK

You can find a wealth of trusted advice about hundreds of health conditions and details of GPs, pharmacies and dentists in your local area by visiting the NHS.uk website:  www.nhs.uk. It also includes a symptom checker.

NHS 111

When you need medical help or advice fast, but it is not a 999 emergency, you can also call the NHS 111 service.  NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and calls are free from mobiles and landlines.

If you need medical care for illnesses you cannot treat yourself, then your GP should be your next port of call.

Your Local GP

Your GP should be your first point of contact for non-emergency illnesses you can’t treat yourself. A GP will be available from 8.00am to 6.30pm weekdays (local GP practice times may vary).

In West Lancashire, residents can now see a GP in the evenings and weekends at certain times.

On Tuesdays from 6.30pm to 8pm at the Skelmersdale Family Practice; on Wednesdays from 6.30pm to 8pm at the Matthew Ryder Clinic in Upholland and at the Tarleton Group Practice from 6.30pm to 8pm; on Thursdays at the West Lancashire Health Centre in Ormskirk from 6.30pm to 8pm.

At the weekend, you can see a GP, nurse and blood clinic at the Sandy Lane Health Centre in Skelmersdale on Saturday from 10am to 4pm and on Sunday you can see a GP and nurse from 10am to 2pm.

To make an appointment to see an extended hours GP, contact your GP practice.

If you don’t have a GP, you can register with your local surgery. If you’re not sure where this is, you can find out at: www.nhs.uk or call 0300 77 77 007.

GP Out of Hours Service

If your local surgery is closed, you can still see a GP with the GP out-of-hours service; just call 111 and you can speak to a local GP over the phone or face to face if necessary.

It is very likely that you and your family will be seen and treated more quickly using the out-of-hours service than if you were waiting to see a doctor in A&E, especially at busy times.

For more information please visit www.examineyouroptions.info

Walk-in centres

West Lancashire has two walk-in centres. The West Lancashire Health Centre in Ormskirk, which is based at Ormskirk Hospital, Wigan Road, Ormskirk, L39 2AZ. This centre is open from 8am to 8pm (with patients who have arrived before 8pm being seen up to 8.30pm), seven days a week including bank holidays and the Skelmersdale Walk-in Centre at The Concourse, Skelmersdale, L39 2AZ, which is open from 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday and 9am to 5pm on Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays.

The staff within these centres, can treat minor injuries and minor ailments such as infections, rashes, stomach upsets, small cuts, strains and sprains.

To access help, visit the walk-in centre and speak to the receptionist. Once you are booked in, you will be seen by a clinician who will decide how urgent your case is and you will be then be seen in priority order.

Patient Access

Manage your repeat prescriptions and make GP appointments from the comfort of your own home, without having to venture outside, by using the new FREE Patient Access website and smartphone app. Simply search for ‘Patient Access’ in the app store.

If using Patient Access for the very first time, you will first have to contact your GP practice so that you can register to use the app.

For up to the minute information on where to go if you fall ill visit the Examine Your Options website: www.examineyouroptions.info.

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