Swine Plea PCT

NHS South West Essex urges people to use health services appropriately this May Bank Holiday

Health bosses are urging people to use health services correctly over the busy May Bank Holiday period to ensure they don’t put services under unnecessary pressure.

Bank Holiday periods are always busy times for the health services, so NHS South West Essex and its healthcare providers are already gearing up to cope with extra demand for medical information and services.

But they are reminding people that they play a vital role in ensuring services don’t become overwhelmed, and urge them to think carefully about which urgent or emergency care service they need to contact.

Dr Katherine Gronqvist, Director of Public Health for NHS South West Essex, said: “It is important that people are aware that the usual operating times for some services will not be the same over the Bank Holiday period. This means that the services which are running are likely to see an increased demand.

“This is not to discourage people who need to call for help in an urgent or emergency situation, but we do find a huge uplift of people with minor complaints using services such as A&E during Bank Holidays.

“When this happens staff are put under huge pressures, and the risk is that people in need of urgent or emergency care don’t get seen as soon as we would want.”

NHS South West Essex is reminding people not to attend A&E departments or GP surgeries for Tamiflu as this medication is currently not being distributed.

For more information on opening times or accessing treatment over the bank holiday weekend, the following resources are available:

NHS Choices website – www.nhs.uk – To find services in your area.

NHS Direct – 0845 4647 – For non-emergency care, 24-hour advice and health information

For advice regarding Swine Flu, people should check the NHS South West Essex website (www.swessex.nhs.uk) and the NHS Choices (www.nhs.uk) website.

Alternatively, patients can call their GP or NHS Direct.

The National Swine Flu Recorded Information Line is on 0800 1 513 513.

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