The NHS is urging people to use health services wisely this forthcoming Bank Holiday weekend to ensure that they get the most appropriate care for their needs.
For most of us, minor injuries and illnesses can be treated using our own medicines cabinet at home. There is really clear advice at www.nhs.uk about what to put in a medicine cabinet, including painkillers such as ibuprofen or paracetamol, diarrhea treatments, rehydration salts, antihistamines and sunscreen.
Next stop might be a pharmacy. Community pharmacies can advise and help you treat a very wide range of problems.
If you have a serious health problem – unless it is a genuine emergency - medical advice and urgent healthcare information can be accessed by calling 111, 24 hours a day, seven days a week - including public holidays.
Patients can call the freephone number for non-emergency, but urgent medical concerns that cannot wait to see your GP. The 111 service can also help someone find their nearest NHS dentist in the case of an emergency.
You should call 111 if:
• You need medical help fast, but it’s not a 999 emergency
• You don’t know who to call for medical help or you don’t have a GP to call
• You think you need to go to A&E or another NHS urgent care service
• You require health information or reassurance about what to do next
If people do need to renew repeat prescriptions they are encouraged to do so this week through their local GP practice.