With GP surgeries in Wiltshire closed on Monday 28 August 2017, Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group is asking people to plan ahead and consider the range of healthcare services available to them if they need medical advice or treatment over the bank holiday.
Dr Richard Sandford Hill, a GP at Market Lavington Surgery said: “A&E attendances over the bank holiday often reach similar peaks to those seen at Christmas. Those figures can be attributed, in part, to people attending A&E for less serious illnesses and injuries that could be treated elsewhere. It’s important therefore, that people understand where to go for health advice and treatment, depending on their requirements. To help with this, Wiltshire CCG has produced an easy to use healthcare clock – a signposting tool to help people access the right healthcare at the right time in Wiltshire available to download from their website.”
“For a minor health problem it may be possible to seek advice and treatment from your local pharmacy, many of which will be open over the bank holiday.
For sprains, dislocations, minor cuts and burns, or minor eye injuries then visit one of the minor injury units located in Chippenham or Trowbridge, or the walk-in centre in Salisbury. Call the NHS111 service, they will be able to advise you on the most appropriate place to go for advice or treatment, simply dial 111.
If you need urgent medical assistance for a serious or life threatening condition then always telephone 999 straight away.
Dr Sandford-Hill continues: “We also strongly recommend that people think ahead and check that they have enough of their routine medication to see them through the three day weekend. If you need to order more, it is advisable to request it well in advance of the bank holiday to ensure that you receive it in time.
“Our priority is always to ensure that people get the help they need, when they need it. By making the right choices, people can help to keep themselves well, but also help to reduce the impact on the health system over what is traditionally an extremely busy period for A&E departments in Wiltshire.”
Healthcare services in Wiltshire
Pharmacists are experts on medicines and how they work. They can also offer advice on common complaints such as coughs, colds, aches and pains and other health issues and help to decide whether it’s necessary to see a doctor.
Minor Injuries Units are for patients with less serious injuries, such as sprains, cuts and grazes. No appointments are required and they are led by qualified nurse practitioners.
For a list of pharmacies that are open over the August bank holiday and location and opening times of Minor Injury Units in Wiltshire visit: www.wiltshireccg.nhs.uk
The Salisbury walk-in centre is open from 6.30pm until 10pm week days, and 8am until 8pm at weekends including bank holidays. The centre is run by a team of experienced doctors and nurses and is based on a first come first served basis, unless someone is acutely unwell and needs immediate attention. For details on how to find the Salisbury walk-in centre visit http://www.salisburywalkincentre.co.uk.
NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and calls are free from landlines and mobiles. It is staffed by a team of fully trained advisers, supported by experienced nurses and paramedics. Healthcare advice can be given over the telephone, or you may be directed to a local service if appropriate.
For life threatening situations serious injuries, loss of consciousness, chest pain or suspected stroke you should always call 999.