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Choose Well this May Bank Holiday

Getting the right care during the May bank holidays

If you or a member of your family experience a minor injury or illness during the May bank holidays don’t spend your time waiting in the emergency department – there are lots of different ways that you can access advice, support and treatments from the NHS.

“Bank holidays are a time to relax and have fun but if you or a family member falls ill or has an accident, help yourself and the NHS by getting the right treatment for your level of illness or injury “ said  Dr Iain Chorlton, NHS Kernow’s chairman.

“If you only have a minor illness or ailments then visit your local pharmacist. They can help with expert advice and over-the-counter remedies.  If you need urgent medical advice but it is not a life threatening emergency then telephone NHS 111. Their call handlers can tell you anything from where to find an emergency dentist to getting you and out-of-hour’s doctor.”

Here are some treatment options if you or a family member becomes ill during the bank holidays (Monday, May 7 and Monday, May 28):

  • Self care 

Having a few basic items in your bathroom medicine cabinet can save you time and effort should you become ill.  Items like paracetamol, a bandage, sticking plasters, and antiseptic cream or indigestion tablets.  If troublesome symptoms persist or worsen see your GP.

  • Visit your local pharmacist:

You can speak to your pharmacist for confidential expert advice and over-the-counter treatments for a wide range of common illnesses and complaints, such as stomach upsets, allergies, minor cuts, sticky eyes, nappy rash, skin conditions and coughs and colds. They can also arrange an urgent prescription for a supply of any prescribed medicines that run out, so you don’t have to use the out of hours’ service or the emergency department.

This service is also available for anyone who’s on holiday or visiting family. You can also get details of which pharmacies are open during the bank holiday weekend, including evenings and Sunday by visiting kernowccg.nhs.uk or checking the NHS England website .

  • Telephone NHS 111 – free health advice 24 hours a day

If you urgently need to see a GP during the bank holidays, call 111. The NHS 111 service can put you in contact with the GP out-of-hours service, which can arrange for you to see a healthcare professional during bank holidays, evenings and weekends.

If you need help fast but your health problem isn’t life threatening, the 111 service can help. It is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and is free to call from landlines and mobile phones. It includes a full range of local health services, including doctors, community nurses, emergency dental care and late opening chemists.

  • Minor injury unit / Urgent care centre:  

If your injury is not serious you can get help from a minor injuries unit (MIU) or the West Cornwall Hospital urgent care centre rather than go to Treliske.  By doing so you allow A&E staff to concentrate on people with serious and life-threatening conditions and save yourself a potentially long wait. You will be seen by an experienced nurse, without an appointment. X-ray is available at some locations.

Minor injury units are based at

  • Bodmin Community Hospital
  • Camborne Redruth Community Hospital
  • Falmouth Community Hospital
  • Launceston Community Hospital
  • Liskeard Community Hospital
  • Newquay Community Hospital
  • St Austell Community Hospital
  • St Mary’s Community Hospital
  • Stratton Community Hospital, Bude
  • St Michael’s Hospital, Hayle
  • West Cornwall Hospital, Penzance

Find your nearest centre by visiting kernowccg.nhs.uk/choosewell

  • Emergency:

Only use the emergency department or the 999 ambulance service for life threatening and emergency conditions. If a family member is experiencing chest pain or has become unconscious telephone 999 immediately.

If you do need to visit the emergency department, a minor injury unit or urgent care centre during the holiday, you can see how long you may have to wait by using the online waiting time service, which shows the longest wait, how many people are waiting to be seen and how many people are in the department. It also includes opening times and x-ray availability. Visit: www.royalcornwall.nhs.uk/services/emergency-department/minor-injury-wait-times/

  • Medication

If you or someone you care for requires repeat medication, make sure you have ordered and collected any prescriptions to ensure you have medicine during the bank holidays. Contact your GP practice as soon as possible to organise prescriptions.

“Once again we’re appealing to anyone who needs help to use the right service and keep the emergency department free for urgent and life-threatening care only” said Dr Chorlton.  “The emergency department is not the right place to treat sporting sprains and strains, minor fractures, broken bones, upset stomachs, insect bites and cuts. Please visit a minor injury unit or our urgent care centre in Penzance for treatment.”

Visit kernowccg.nhs.uk for details of all services, opening and waiting times, including for the east of the county, and contact details are available by visiting kernowccg.nhs.uk/choosewell.

END

Copy supplied by NHS Kernow