Health leaders at NHS Warwickshire North Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are urging patients to stay healthy over the Easter holidays by ordering repeat prescriptions in advance and making best use of pharmacies, walk-in centres and the NHS 111 service.
Easter preparations are already underway with holidays booked, Easter eggs bought and family celebrations arranged but patients are being urged not to leave it too late to order and collect repeat prescriptions over the Easter Bank Holidays.
Making sure patients have enough medicines to see them through the Easter holidays, when GP surgeries are closed, can not only make a difference to patients’ health but it could also ensure doctors are not called out unnecessarily or that people are not heading to A&E when they don’t need to.
A&E provides vital care for life threatening emergencies such as loss of consciousness, suspected heart attacks, breathing difficulties or severe bleeding that cannot be stopped. If medical advice is required or patients become unwell and their GP surgery is closed, they are advised to first call NHS 111, a fast and easy way to get the right help, whatever the time. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones
Health leaders are also reminding patients of the benefits of using their local pharmacies. Pharmacists are qualified experts in the use of medicines and can give advice on common symptoms, medicines and healthy living. Many pharmacies are open over the Easter period and patients can locate their nearest pharmacy by visiting www.warwickshirenorthccg.nhs.uk
Dr Deryth Stevens, Chair of NHS Warwickshire North CCG, said:
“People need to be aware that their GP surgery or pharmacy will be closed at times over the Easter Bank Holiday period. If in doubt it is best to check opening times well in advance. Demand on emergency services can increase considerably during the Easter holiday period, so it’s important that people use health services wisely so that they can get the care they need from the most appropriate service.
“A range of other health services are available including GP services, the NHS 111 telephone line and pharmacies. If you’re not sure what the appropriate service is, call NHS 111 and speak to someone who can provide advice on the best course of action. Walk in services are also available in the local area including the Camphill GP led Health Centre, Ramsden Avenue, Camphill, Nuneaton, CV10 9EB, Open 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week. Visit www.nhs.uk/asap to find your nearest GP, walk-in centre, or get health information.
“The CCG also has a Health Services Sat Nav mobile app also can tell you where to find nearby services and can be downloaded for free via iTunes or Google Play.
“If patients are taking regular medicines, making sure they have enough stocks to last over the holidays by getting organised with their repeat prescriptions is essential. This could prevent them becoming ill or even avert a medical emergency.
“Easter is also a time when many people go out into the garden to do some work or tackle a bit of DIY. Our advice would be to take extra care when using tools or mechanical equipment and when climbing ladders to avoid accidents and unnecessary visits to A&E.”