Plan ahead for a healthy bank holiday

With the August bank holiday weekend less than two weeks away, the three NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in Bradford, Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven are reminding people what they need to do to have a healthy bank holiday.

GP practices will be closed on Monday 28 August, so it is important to plan ahead and order any repeat prescriptions needed before the bank holiday in advance. People are also reminded to take their medicines with them if they are planning to be away from home.

For advice on medicines and minor ailments, people can drop in to their local pharmacy without an appointment.  Pharmacists can provide advice for many common illnesses such as coughs, colds, hay fever, allergic rashes and headaches. They can also advise if people should visit other NHS services.

GPs are also reminding people who may start to feel unwell over the holidays that they can check their symptoms using the NHS Choices website. It offers up to date and expert advice on a range of illnesses, as well details of local health services.  In some cases ‘self-care’ at home could be the answer.

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
  • fits that are not stopping
  • persistent, severe chest pain (possible signs of a heart attack)
  • breathing difficulties
  • severe bleeding that can't be stopped
  • slurred speech, a face that droops on one side, or weakness or numbness on one side of the body (possible signs of a stroke)

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

Dr Dave Tatham, clinical lead for urgent and emergency care at the Bradford CCGs, said: “If you are taking regular medicines, make sure you have enough to last over the bank holiday weekend. By making sure you have enough of your repeat prescription to last over the long weekend, you can prevent 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 can pop into their local pharmacy and ask for advice about essential items, there is also some great advice on the NHS Choices website about what items you should keep at home – www.nhs.uk.”

To find a local pharmacy and details of opening hours over the bank holiday, click here.