Local GPs are encouraging people to get ready for the August bank holiday weekend.
Holiday weekends are always a very busy time for the NHS which is why it is important to be prepared and know what to do should you or a family member need help.
Dr Mark Shenton, a GP in Stowmarket and chairman of NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group said: “Being prepared means you make sure you’ve got enough repeat medication to last over the weekend. Remember it takes 48 hours for your GP practice to process a repeat prescription request and that your GP practice and some pharmacies will be closed on Monday 25 August.
“Having a well-stocked medicine cabinet is a great way of being prepared for unexpected minor injury or illness. Medicine cabinet basics include painkillers like paracetamol or ibuprofen, antihistamines to deal with insect bites and stings, anti-diarrhoeal medicine for upset tummies and plasters and bandages. Just pop in to your local pharmacy for advice.”
Dr Christopher Browning, a GP in Long Melford and chairman of NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group said: “If you’ve got an urgent medical question that can’t wait until your GP surgery is open then you should call NHS 111. The 111 service is open all day, every day and is free to call from landlines and mobiles. If you’ve got any medical concerns or questions about you or your family then simply call one of the Suffolk-based trained advisors who will be able to help you.
“Some pharmacies will be open for limited hours on bank holiday Monday. You shouldn’t underestimate the knowledge of your pharmacist, who is an expert on medicines.They can offer help and advice for many medical conditions and offer over-the-counter medicine to help you deal with them.
“If you have forgotten to order your regular medicine from your GP and run out over the holiday period your pharmacist may be able to help by providing an emergency supply. Please remember to take your repeat slip or empty pack(s) with you to show the pharmacist what you usually take.
“Finally, please consider the hardworking hospital emergency department and 999 ambulance service staff. They will be very busy dealing with people who have a life-threatening condition, so please don’t turn up at your hospital’s emergency department or call 999 unless it’s an emergency. Keep those services for people who are very ill.”
You can find a list of pharmacies open on Monday 25 August:http://www.ipswichandeastsuffolkccg.nhs.uk/Localservices/Localpharmacies.aspx