Local GPs are encouraging residents to do a ‘five-step check’ to prepare for the long Easter bank holiday weekend, which starts on Friday 2 April.
Many GP surgeries and pharmacies will be closed on Good Friday and bank holiday Monday and doctors are urging people to plan ahead for their healthcare needs over the weekend.
- Pick up prescriptions: If you have a repeat prescription, make sure you have enough medication to last the long weekend. If you’re running short, there’s still time to pick up a prescription and avoid any last-minute panics.
- Prepare for self-care: You can look after many very minor ailments with over-the-counter medicines from your pharmacist. Check that you have basics like paracetomol and antihistamine, plus a first-aid kit – see the NHS website for a suggested list
- Emergency pharmacists: Remember that emergency pharmacists will be available throughout the weekend providing over-the-counter medication and advice if needed – use NHS find a pharmacy tool to see local opening times
- Think 111 first for urgent care: If you think you need medical help and it can’t wait, contact 111 first. They’ll help you right away and if you need urgent care, they will book you in to a local urgent care service such as the out-of-hours GP or a local minor injury unit – all of which are available throughout the long weekend.
- A&E for life-threatening emergencies: For life-threatening emergencies, call 999 or go straight to A&E - but remember that if you arrive with a non-emergency condition, you are likely to be directed to a more appropriate service.
Dr Jonathan Hayes, local GP and Clinical Chair of Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, said:
For many, long bank holidays are a great opportunity to take some time off and get some much needed relaxation. However, we know that many people will require health services during this time.
Lots of us require repeat prescriptions to help manage our health conditions. If this is you, you should check to see if you have enough medication to last you over the longer bank holiday weekend. There are always people who run out of medication over bank holidays and while help is always available, you can avoid that last-minute panic by collecting prescriptions now.
We know that you can’t plan for all your health needs, so we want to remind you that urgent health services, such as NHS111 and Minor Injuries Units, are still here for you when you need them.
Covid-19 restrictions began to lift on 8 March with the start of Government’s four-step roadmap towards a more normal life. Further restrictions could soon be lifted on 29 March, providing we continue to follow national guidance of getting tested when needed; isolating when required, and applying ‘hands, face, space’ when out and about.
You can find out about the latest roadmap guidance for residents in England on gov.uk