Looking after your health this bank holiday weekend

Being ill is never fun, especially over a bank holiday; that’s why people across Bradford, Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven are being urged to make sure they order any repeat prescriptions they need ahead of their GP practice closing on Friday (24 May).

Forgetting to get repeat prescriptions puts a lot of extra work on GP out-of-hours services over bank holidays when people realise they have run out of their regular medication and need to get more supplies urgently.

Local clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in the district are asking patients to contact their GP as soon as possible this week if they need regular medicines to last over the bank holiday.

Dr Andy Withers, clinical chair of Bradford Districts CCG, said:

“It’s often easy for people to overlook the bank holiday when it comes to ordering repeat prescriptions, but forgetting to get enough supplies can put a lot of strain on out-of-hours services which are there to deal with urgent health problems – not to issue repeat prescriptions.


“The message is simple: if you have a repeat prescription, please check that you have enough to last until Tuesday. That way you don’t risk getting ill if you run out or have to take up an out-of-hours GP’s time to issue another prescription.”



As well as making sure they have enough repeat prescriptions, people are also being urged to only call 999 for an ambulance or go to hospital A&E departments in a medical emergency.

A new telephone service – NHS 111 – is now available when you need medical help fast, but it’s not a 999 emergency.

When you call 111 you will be assessed, given advice and directed straight away to the local service that can help you best – that could be an out-of-hours doctor, walk-in centre or urgent care centre; community nurse, emergency dentist or late opening chemist.

NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and is free to call from landlines and mobile phones.

Many patients who attend A&E or call 999 could be treated more quickly by their GP, their local pharmacist, or even by themselves with basic self-care, first aid or telephone advice from NHS 111.

“Many people don’t realise how much time and money they cost the local NHS when they misuse A&E services. A&E is for accident and emergency cases only, such as severe chest pain, difficulty breathing, significant head injuries and broken bones,” added Dr Withers.



People can also help themselves by keeping a well-stocked medicine chest and first aid kit, to deal with day-to-day illness and injury. An essential medicine chest should include:

  • pain relief, such as paracetamol and aspirin (aspirin should not be given to children under 16 or to people with asthma)



  • paediatric paracetamol oral suspension or ibuprofen syrups for children



  • mild laxatives to relieve constipation



  • cold relief products



  • rehydration mixtures for diarrhoea or vomiting, to use if feeling dehydrated after a bout of sickness or diarrhoea



  • indigestion remedy



  • travel sickness tablets for family trips



  • tweezers and sharp scissors to remove splinters and cut bandages



  • a thermometer to check for fever



  • a range of bandages, plasters, non-absorbent cotton wool, elastic bandages and dressings for minor cuts, sprains and bruises.


With prescribed medicines and those bought over-the-counter, follow the advice of the pharmacist, doctor or nurse. People should always read the instructions and never go over the suggested dose.

Ends

Notes to editors

  • Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) are the new NHS organisations responsible for buying healthcare services for their local populations. They have taken over most of the healthcare commissioning responsibilities of primary care trusts (PCTs), which were abolished on 31 March 2013.



  • There are three CCGs in the Bradford district: Bradford City CCG, Bradford Districts CCG and Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven CCG.



  • Each CCG is a membership organisation, made up of its individual GP practices. Members have elected GPs to a clinical board which is responsible for leading the vision and strategy, and developing and overseeing the commissioning process. It also has a governing body which ensures the organisation carries out its duties in the right way.



  • Bradford City CCG is made up of 27 member GP practices that look after the health needs of over 118,000 people. The CCG’s chief officer is Helen Hirst and the chief clinical officer is Dr Akram Khan.



  • Bradford Districts CCG is made up of 41 member GP practices that look after the health needs of 328,000 people. The CCG’s chief officer is Helen Hirst and the chief clinical officer is Dr Andy Withers.



  • Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven CCG is made up of 17 member practices that look after the health needs of 156,000 people. The CCG’s chief clinical officer is Dr Phil Pue and the clinical chair is Dr Colin Renwick.



  • CCGs are responsible for commissioning the following services: planned hospital care, mental health, community health, maternity, rehabilitation, urgent and emergency care and continuing healthcare.



  • The former local PCT’s public health services are now the responsibility of Bradford Council. The commissioning of primary care services – doctors, dentists, pharmacies and opticians – is now the responsibility of NHS England.