Self-care, a local pharmacist or NHS 111 are best for minor illnesses or ailments
GPs and health professionals across Somerset are asking members of the public to help themselves and their local NHS this Easter Holiday by choosing the right treatment for their level of illness or injury.
Dr Ed Ford, GP and Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group’s Chairman, said: “Remember, you can save yourself a lot of time and effort 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 or go online to https://111.nhs.uk which now provides access to the new integrated urgent care service.”
The Integrated Urgent Care service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to respond to the population of Somerset. For those patients that require clinical input, a suitably skilled healthcare professional will be available to provide a highly effective assessment and consultation of their needs.
Here are some treatment options if you or a family member becomes ill over the Easter 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: http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Pharmacy/Pages/Yourmedicinecabinet.aspx
Visit your local pharmacist
If you are feeling unwell and need advice, visit your pharmacy, which is usually nearby and has convenient hours. You can find your nearest pharmacist by searching online at: www.nhs.uk
Telephone 111 or go online at https://111.nhs.uk 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 the 24/7 telephone 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 urgent GP appointments
GP Practices in Somerset now offer urgent appointments into the early evening (between 6.30pm and 8.00pm) and weekends. Registered patients who need an urgent appointment must book an appointment in advance by telephoning their GP practice from Monday to Friday between the hours of 8.00am and 6.30pm.
GP Out-of-Hours service
Should you become ill after your GP surgery has closed ring 111 for the GP Out-of-Hours service.
Also, remember to re-order any routine prescription medicines you need a week before the Easter Bank Holiday.
Community hospital Minor Injury Unit
There are seven Minor Injury Units 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 a minor injuries unit (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: http://www.sompar.nhs.uk/our_services/adult_services/minor_injuries_unit
Hospital Accident and Emergency
Hospital A&E or the 999 ambulance service treat patients with life-threatening and emergency conditions. If someone is experiencing chest pain, serious loss of blood or has become unconscious then telephone 999 for an ambulance immediately.
For further information on how to help yourself and your family this Easter holiday please visit www.nhs.uk.