NHS here for you this bank holiday in Harlow

Health / Sat 21st Aug 2021 at 10:06am

NHS here for you this bank holiday

WITH August bank holiday Monday on the horizon, the way you access and receive health and care services will be different. Make sure you know what services are available to you during the break and ensure you’re fully covered for essential medication.

Some pharmacies will be closed on Monday 30 August and regular GP services will be not be available. This means if you rely on repeat prescriptions, check now whether you have enough to see you through. Most GP surgeries and pharmacies need at least 48 hours’ notice to prepare a repeat prescription, so it’s a good idea to get your order in a week before you need it. 

If you need help with minor illnesses across the long weekend, your local pharmacist can help you get the right medicine to relieve your symptoms – they are also a great source of trusted advice on a range of health issues. Some local pharmacies are open over the weekend, including bank holiday Monday. To find out the opening hours of pharmacies near you across the bank holiday, go to: https://www.healthierfuture.org.uk/august-bank-holiday.

If you need urgent help, you can contact NHS 111, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week by visiting www.111.nhs.uk, or calling 111. They can help you access the most appropriate service for you, and if necessary, can book you an appointment with a doctor or nurse. You are likely to be seen much sooner than if you go to A&E. If you need urgent mental health support call 111 and select option 2 to speak to specially trained staff. 

If your condition is a life or limb threatening emergency, always dial 999 immediately or go to your nearest A&E department.

Dr Rachel Joyce, Director of Clinical and Professional Services for the Hertfordshire and West Essex Integrated Care System, said:

“Just as the NHS continues to be here to support people in lots of different ways, we equally want people to support the NHS by using our services wisely. Our services are all tremendously busy at the moment, so by familiarising yourself with those available, you’ll be able to get any help you may need as quickly and efficiently as possible.”

“In a continued response to COVID-19, we should still consider ‘hands, face and space’, particularly within health settings. If you have to use any of our services this bank holiday, you will need to wear a face covering and follow social distancing rules. Please only use the services you need – this means you will help us prevent waiting rooms becoming any busier than they should be and avoid unnecessary contact with others.”

“If you take a regular prescription, make sure you don’t get caught off-guard if it is due to run out soon. Please get in touch with your GP surgery a week in advance and order your repeat prescription, or do so online, so that you don’t run out over the bank holiday while your surgery is closed.”

“Please also check in with loved ones who may also need to prepare for this bank holiday. Help them stock up on their medicine cabinet with items like a first aid kit, paracetamol, plasters, antiseptic cream, and indigestion remedies. If you or someone you care for is very unwell over the long weekend, the NHS in Hertfordshire and west Essex has urgent health services which are open and available to keep you safe.”

COVID-19 vaccination appointments that have already been scheduled across the bank-holiday weekend will continue to go ahead. You can find the opening times of vaccination walk-in centres across Hertfordshire and west Essex here: https://covid.healthierfuture.org.uk/. Always check the website before travelling to a clinic to make sure the opening times have not changed.

We can all still take sensible precautions to help limit the spread of COVID-19 this bank holiday,such as wearing face masks in crowded places, washing hands with soap often and testing regularly. To find out more about COVID-19 testing in Hertfordshire, including the availability of testing sites across the long weekend, visit: https://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/about-the-council/news/coronavirus-tests.aspx. For west Essex, visit: https://www.essex.gov.uk/getting-tested-for-covid-19.  

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