Finding the right health advice and treatment over the Easter bank holiday

The four day break over Easter can sometimes catch people off guard when it comes to planning for their healthcare needs. With GP surgeries in Wiltshire closed on 3rd and 6th April 2015, Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group is asking people to plan ahead and to consider the range of options available to them if they need medical advice or treatment over the bank holiday.

Dr Steve Rowlands, Chair for Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group said: “A&E admissions during the Easter break often reach similar peaks to those seen at Christmas. Those figures can be attributed, in part, to people attending A&E for less serious illnesses and injuries. It’s important therefore, that people are aware, and understand the alternative routes to health advice and treatment they have access to.

“For a minor health problem it may be possible to seek advice and treatment from your local pharmacy, many of which will be open over the holidays. For sprains, dislocations, minor cuts and burns or minor eye injuries then one of the two minor injury units in the county will be open, as well as the walk-in centre in Salisbury. If you’re not sure, then call the 111 service, they will be able to advise you on the most appropriate place to go for advice or treatment. If you need urgent medical assistance for a serious or life threatening condition then always telephone 999 straight away.

“We would also strongly recommend that people think ahead and check that they have enough of their routine medication to see them through the four day weekend. If you need to order more, it is advisable to request it well in advance of the bank holiday to ensure that you receive it in time.

“Our priority is always to ensure that people get the help they need, when they need it. By making the right choices and taking personal responsibility, people can not only help keep themselves well, but also help to reduce the impact on the health system over what is traditionally a busy period for A&E departments in Wiltshire.”

For a list of pharmacies that are open over the Easter bank holiday click here. Pharmacists are experts on medicines and how they work. They can also offer advice on common complaints such as coughs, colds, aches and pains and other health issues and help to decide whether it’s necessary to see a doctor.

For location and opening times of Minor Injury Units in Wiltshire visit www.wiltshireccg.nhs.uk. Minor Injuries Units are for patients with less serious injuries, such as sprains, cuts and grazes. No appointments are required and they are led by qualified nurse practitioners.

The Salisbury walk-in centre is open from 0800 – 2000 everyday, including bank holidays. The centre is run by a team of experienced doctors and nurses and is based on a first come first served basis, unless someone is acutely unwell and needs immediate attention. For details on how to find the Salisbury walk-in centre visit http://www.salisburywalkincentre.co.uk.

NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and calls are free from landlines and mobiles. It is staffed by a team of fully trained advisers, supported by experienced nurses and paramedics. Healthcare advice can be given over the telephone or you may be directed to a local service that can help you best.

If a medical situation is life threatening, you should always phone 999. Serious injuries, loss of consciousness, chest pain or suspected stroke are medical emergencies and you should not hesitate to call 999.