Plan ahead for a healthy bank holiday

With the August bank holiday weekend coming up, the NHS clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in Bradford, Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven are reminding local people to plan ahead and make sure they have supplies of any prescriptions and medicines they need.

Dr Dave Tatham, clinical lead for urgent and emergency care at the Bradford CCGs, said: “Doctors’ surgeries will be closed on Monday 29 August, so please remember to plan ahead and order any repeat prescriptions you will need before the bank holiday – and remember to take them with you if you are planning a trip away.”

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He also reminds people that their local pharmacy can give confidential and expert advice, medicines and other appropriate treatment on common illnesses such as flu-like symptoms, allergic rashes and headaches. They can also provide treatment for babies and children for certain common conditions such as nappy rash, colic and teething.

Pharmacists can advise if you need to call or visit other NHS services, and can help if you do find that you have run out of your prescription. To find your nearest pharmacist, including details of opening hours over the bank holiday, click here.

GPs are also reminding people who may start to feel unwell over the holidays to check their symptoms using the NHS symptoms checker page, which can advise them what kind of treatment they may need. In some cases ‘self-care’ at home could be the answer: check out NHS Choices’ symptoms checker.

When medical help is needed but it is not an emergency, people can ring NHS 111 for advice and direction to the most appropriate service. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and calls are free.

People are urged only to go to their local A&E department or dial 999 in critical or life-threatening situations. For example:

  • loss of consciousness 
  • acute confused state and fits that are not stopping
  • persistent, severe chest pain
  • breathing difficulties
  • severe bleeding that can't be stopped.

In the case of heart attack or stroke, call 999 immediately. Every second counts with these conditions.

Dr Tatham added: “If you are taking regular medicines, making sure you have enough stocks to last over the bank holiday weekend by getting organised with your repeat prescriptions is essential. This could prevent you becoming ill or even avert a medical emergency.

“A well-stocked medicine cupboard is essential, especially over holiday times. Having home remedies to hand means peace of mind. People should pop into their local pharmacies and ask for advice about essential items.”