This May Bank Holiday should be a time for relaxing, so don’t let your DIY injuries, barbeque burns or gardening cuts, stings or bruises have you rushing to Accident and Emergency
GPs and health professionals across Somerset are reminding members of the public to take care this May Bank Holiday and make sure they have a few plasters, antiseptic cream, and a bandage to hand of they are planning to do some DIY, a barbecue or tackling an overgrown garden.
National statistics show that it is often the home where the greatest number of accidents and injuries occur*.
Dr Ed Ford, a Minehead GP and Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group’s Chairman, said: “You can help yourself and the NHS by making sure you have some basic items at home to treat common ailments. Having some plasters, a bandage, antiseptic cream and paracetamol in the home is often all you need. Avoid traveling to a busy district hospital A&E Department with only minor ailments or injuries. Hospital staff will be busy treating the most seriously ill and injured and you may have to wait.
“If you or a family member has a minor illness or ailments then visit your local pharmacist. They can help with expert advice and over-the-counter remedies. If you need urgent medical advice but it is not a life threatening emergency then telephone NHS 111. Their call handlers can tell you anything from where to find an emergency dentist to getting you an out-of-hour’s doctor.”
Here are some treatment options if you or a family member becomes ill over the May Bank Holiday:
Having a few basic items in your bathroom medicine cabinet can save you time and effort should you become ill. Items like paracetamol, a bandage, sticking plasters, and antiseptic cream or indigestion tablets. If troublesome symptoms persist or worsen see your GP. There is more advice online at: www.nhs.uk/livewell/pharmacy/pages/yourmedicinecabinet.aspx
Visit your local pharmacy
If you are feeling unwell and need advice, visit your pharmacy. You can find your nearest pharmacist by searching online at: www.nhs.uk or by telephoning 111.
Remember to or-order any routine prescription medicines you need a week before the Easter Bank Holiday.
Telephone NHS 111
Telephone 111 when you need medical advice or information quickly, but it’s not a 999 life threatening emergency. Calls are free from mobiles and landlines to this 24/7 service.
You should also call 111 if you become ill after your GP surgery has closed and need urgent advice or medical help. You will be assessed, given advice and directed straight away to the local service that will help you best.
Out-of-hours GP urgent care service
Should you become ill after your GP surgery has closed, ring your surgery’s telephone number and listen to the answer phone message or telephone 111 for advice.
Yeovil Health Centre
Located on the top floor of Boots in Middle Street the centre is open every day of the year and from 8.00am until 8.00pm. Yeovil Health Centre also provides emergency contraception and sexual health advice and treatment.
Normal GP and nurse care is available as well as quick and convenient health checks including blood pressure and cholesterol. No appointment is necessary; walk in for prompt attention. Telephone 01935 709 269 www.yeovilhealthcentre.nhs.uk/
Community Hopsital Minor injury unit (MIU)
There are minor injuries units (MIU) at community hospitals in Bridgwater, Burnham-on-Sea, Chard, Frome, Glastonbury, Minehead and Shepton Mallet.
If your injury is not serious, you can get help from an MIU rather than a busy hospital A&E department. By doing so you allow A&E staff to concentrate on people with serious and life-threatening conditions and save yourself a potentially long wait.
To check your local MIU’s location and opening hours telephone 111 or go to: www.sompar.nhs.uk/what-we-do/community-hospitals/minor-injury-units/
Hospital Accident and Emergency Department (A&E)
Hospital A&E or the 999 ambulance service will be treating patients with life threatening and emergency conditions. If you or a family member are experiencing chest pain, serious loss of blood or have become unconscious then telephone 999 for an ambulance immediately.
For further information on how to help yourself and your family this Easter Bank Holiday please visit www.nhs.uk.