Plan ahead for a happy and healthy August bank holiday

Date: 11 Aug 2017

Category: Campaigns

With the summer holidays already underway and the August bank holiday around the corner, health leaders in North Somerset are urging people to plan ahead with some simple steps to stay happy and healthy over the long weekend (26-28 August).

These include making sure that home medicine cabinets are stocked up with the basics needed to treat very minor ailments and illnesses and also ensuring that repeat prescriptions are collected well in advance of the bank holiday weekend.

People are also being reminded to check their options for urgent healthcare and to only use A&E and 999 for serious and life-threatening emergencies.

Services such as the minor injuries unit in Clevedon, out-of-hours GPs and emergency pharmacists will all be available over the bank holiday weekend. People who aren’t sure which service to use can get advice and guidance from NHS 111, their local NHS website or the NHS Service Finder app.

Dr Mary Backhouse, NHS North Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) Clinical Chair and local GP, said:

"The summer holidays and particularly the bank holiday weekend are always a busy time for local health services, which makes it all the more important that people take a few steps to prepare for their healthcare needs."
"In particular, we’re urging people who have repeat prescriptions to make sure they have enough medication to last the long weekend, when many pharmacies and GP practices will be closed."
"It’s also important that people who need urgent care use the right service for their needs. We would like to remind people that the A&E department at Weston General Hospital is temporarily closed between 10pm and 8am. "
"Between the hours of 8am and 10pm A&E is open as normal. After 10pm any patients experiencing a serious life-threatening emergency should call 999. Anyone feeling unwell, and needing urgent care should call NHS 111, the non-emergency advice line. The 111 service is available 24 hours a day and is free to call from mobiles as well as landlines. "
"By choosing carefully, people can get the treatment they need sooner while also helping to relieve pressure on busy emergency services."

Checklist for the bank holiday weekend

  • If you need medical help urgently but aren’t sure where to go, call 111 at any time for advice and guidance.
  • Remember that many GPs and pharmacies will be closed on Monday 28 August, so pick up repeat prescriptions well in advance. See pharmacy opening hours for North Somerset.
  • If you need to see your GP for a routine appointment before the bank holiday, it is important to book it in good time. Find your nearest doctors surgery
  • Make sure you can treat very minor ailments at home by stocking up your home medicine cabinet with basics such as painkillers, antihistamines, oral rehydration salts and indigestion remedies. You should also make sure you have a basic first aid kit to treat minor cuts, sprains and bruises. Ask your pharmacist for advice and make sure that all medicines are kept out of the reach of children. Find your nearest pharmacy
  • If you need advice about caring for a poorly child, call 111. It’s free from mobiles as well as landlines and available 24/7. The free NHS HANDi App is also available to download and provides expert advice and guidance on common childhood illnesses.
  • Remember that emergency pharmacies will be available throughout the bank holiday weekend and can dispense emergency prescriptions and morning after contraception if required. 
  • Only use A&E and 999 for serious and life-threatening emergencies, such as unconsciousness, severe chest pain or strokes. If you’re not sure it’s an emergency, call 111 first.