With NHS services continuing to face unprecedented levels of demand, health professionals across Suffolk are encouraging people to be prepared for the four-day Easter weekend.
By taking some simple steps now and being aware of the most appropriate health care options, you’ll be helping hard-pressed NHS staff cope during this busy time as well as doing your bit to keep you and your family well.
Dr Mark Shenton, a GP in Stowmarket and Chairman of NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “The Easter holidays are always a busy time for the NHS and we are urging people to do what they can to ease the pressure on services.”One of the best things you can do is to ensure you keep some basic medicines at home so you have them available when unexpected minor illness or injury occurs.
“I would encourage everyone to have at hand the medicine cabinet essentials including paracetamol, sticking plasters, indigestion remedy and anti-diarrhoeal medicine. You can ask your pharmacist for advice on what medicines you should keep at home.
“It’s also important to have enough repeat medicine to last over the holidays. Remember your GP surgery will be closed on Good Friday (April 19) and Easter Monday (April 22) and it takes 48 hours for most GP surgeries to process a repeat prescription.“Some pharmacies will be open over the holiday weekend, including Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday, so keep a note of the location of the pharmacy nearest to you and its opening times. Pharmacies are a great source of help and advice and the pharmacist could offer you over-the-counter medicine that will help you get better.”
Dr Christopher Browning, a GP in Long Melford and Chairman of NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “GP appointments will be available throughout the Easter holiday weekend from some of the Suffolk GP+ bases located across east and west Suffolk. You can make an appointment by contacting your own GP practice during its usual opening hours or through the NHS 111 service.
“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 with you to show the pharmacist what you usually take.
“If you feel unwell over the Easter weekend the NHS 111 service is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The service never closes. By calling the freephone number you will speak to a trained advisor, be given an assessment and advice and directed to the most appropriate service for your needs. You can also access the NHS 111 service online.”
You can view a list of pharmacies in Suffolk and neighbouring counties open over the Easter weekend HERE
See list of Suffolk GP+ opening times HERE
Visit the NHS 111 service online HERE