With the bank holiday fast approaching, people are being reminded to examine their options if they or their families become unwell during the bank holiday weekend.
Dr Rob Caudwell, local GP and NHS Southport and Formby CCG chair, said: “We want people in Southport, Formby and West Lancashire to have a good long weekend. We don’t want patients to become poorly and have to spend part of their weekend in hospital so we’re reminding them to examine their options and use the services available to them to seek advice.
“Care at the Chemist (minor ailments) is just one service and NHS 111 will be invaluable over the weekend. A simple visit to your high street chemist could make all the difference”
Dr John Caine, Local GP and NHS West Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) chair, said: “Accessing the right health service is important to allow us to deliver the best care that you need. However, at busy times such as bank holidays, it is imperative that everyone thinks carefully about the options open to them. A&E is available for serious illnesses and life-threatening injuries only, so we recommend patients seeking assistance to also consider the other alternatives listed here.”
Many GP surgeries will be closed on the bank holiday Monday, so it is wise for people to think about the options available to them over the long weekend.
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:
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 like coughs and colds.
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.
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. Your GP is available from 8.00am to 6.30pm weekdays.
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.
Patients can also manage their health needs at home using Patient Access which is available on desktop or as a free app where you can arrange appointments, order repeat medications and update your personal details.*
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
For Southport and Formby pharmacy opening times over the bank holiday please visit: www.southportandformbyccg.nhs.uk/your-health-and-services/bank-holiday-pharmacy-opening-times
For West Lancashire pharmacy opening times over the bank holiday, please visit www.westlancashireccg.nhs.uk/pharmacy-opening-times-bank-holiday-2016
*please note that some practices may use a slightly different system to patient access so it is worth asking your GP practice for more information.