NHS South West Essex is advising local people to stay well this Easter and to look out for Bank Holiday opening times for health services.
Barbara Stuttle CBE, chief nurse and deputy chief executive at NHS South West Essex says: “Patients may not be able to access their local GP service in the usual way over the four-day holiday, so it is worth knowing how to contact out-of-hours services.
“If you need a regular prescription for a long term condition, please check now to make sure that you have enough to tide you over the holiday period.
“Health advice is on hand, even after working hours, such as in pharmacies. You can use out of hours GP services by ringing your normal GP surgery – but remember that ringing 999 or visiting hospital emergency departments is only appropriate for serious illnesses and injuries.”
Where to go for health advice this Easter:
If you need advice or want to know about different health conditions or ailments ring NHS Direct on 0845 4647. NHS Direct is a confidential health help line available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You can also log on to: www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk for free expert health advice and reassurance or to find out where to go for treatment.
For minor injuries such as wounds, sprains and broken bones there is a minor injuries unit at Orsett Hospital, which is open throughout the Easter bank holiday from 10am to 8pm (10am to 7.30pm on Easter Sunday). The hospital treats wounds, sprains, some broken bones and minor head injuries – please note that there will be no x-ray on Easter Sunday. Alternatively, there is a walk-in GP service at the Thurrock Health Centre, Grays, from 8am to 8pm every day (including Bank Holidays and Easter Sunday).
Your GP surgery will be closed on the bank holidays, but there is an out-of-hours service in place. Ring your usual surgery telephone line where you will be given instructions or diverted to the out-of-hours service, or ring NHS Direct on 0845 4647.
For emergencies such as loss of consciousness, severe chest pain, serious accidents or less of blood call 999 for an ambulance or go to Accident and Emergency Department at Basildon University Hospital.
Emergency dental care
To book an appointment, or to get advice, people should phone 0845 602 1809
Patients can also ring NHS Direct on 0845 4647.
Pharmacy opening times
Most pharmacies will display their opening times over the Easter Bank Holiday.
For full details of pharmacies that are open and their hours please ring NHS Direct on 0845 4647 or visit www.swessex.nhs.uk and click on ‘Your Services’ then choose ‘Find a Pharmacist’. Alternatively, text ‘pharmacy’ to 64746 to find your nearest pharmacy.
Your local pharmacist (or chemist) can help you with many ailments ranging from sprains to stomach upsets. Pharmacists can help you get the best from medicines available and can advise you on what to buy.
Keeping a well-stocked medicine cabinet will ensure you are able to treat any minor ailments or injuries at home and increase your family’s chance of a speedier recovery. Things to keep a supply of include: paracetamol, ibuprofen or aspirin to help relieve aches, pains and raised temperatures, a selection of plasters, cotton wool and assorted dressings, safety pins, tweezers and sharp scissors for minor injuries. Your local pharmacist will be able to give you advice.