Often, people needing medical help on a public holiday go straight to A&E. It’s important to remember that there may be another NHS service - such as a GP surgery or out-of-hours service, pharmacy, walk-in or urgent care centre or the NHS 111 number - that might be better placed to help.
Dr Caz Sayer, Chair of Camden Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and a local GP, said:
“If you’re feeling unwell this bank holiday weekend, think carefully before going to A&E. It could be quicker and easier for you to choose to receive treatment elsewhere. It could also help to reduce the pressure on emergency services so that they can help those most in need. A&E should only be for patients with the most serious or life-threatening cases. Local walk-in or urgent care services can treat most minor injuries or illnesses – including broken bones, cuts, rashes and burns – while your pharmacist can offer advice on how to treat common illnesses like colds or coughs at home with rest and over the counter treatments. If you are unsure where to go for treatment or if you want to find out the opening hours for your local services this bank holiday, you can call NHS 111 number or download the Choose Well app.”
The Choose Well app helps patients to decide what service they need and where to go to access it. It includes the names, locations and opening hours of every GP surgery, pharmacy, hospital A&E and walk-in and urgent care centre in the borough. There is also a locator feature which displays the nearest service, helping to save people time and minimise disruption to their day, as well as a game which tests users’ knowledge about the most appropriate service to use in different scenarios.
Alternatively, you can call the NHS 111 service, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is staffed by fully trained advisors and experienced clinicians
More information is also available at NHS Choices.