Self-care, a local pharmacist or NHS 111 are best for minor illness or ailments
GPs and health professionals across Somerset are reminding members of the public about the range of health services available to them this coming August Bank Holiday. (28 August)
Dr Ed Ford, a Minehead GP and Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group’s Chairman, said: “Remember, you can help yourself and the NHS when you get the right treatment for your level of illness or injury.
“If you only have 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 August 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.
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.
EVENING AND WEEKEND ACCESS TO ROUTINE GP APPOINTMENTS
GP Practices in Somerset now offer routine appointments into the early evening (between 6.30pm and 8.00pm) and weekends. Registered patients who need a routine appointment must book an appointment in advance by telephoning their GP practice from Monday to Friday and between the hours of 8.00am and 6.30pm.
GP OUT-OF-HOURS URGENT CARE
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.
Remember to or-order any routine prescription medicines you need a week before the August Bank Holiday.
COMMUNITY HOSPIAL 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 (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 August Bank Holiday please visit www.nhs.uk.