The August bank holiday weekend is just around the corner and it’s important to know where you can get advice should you become ill over this period.
As the weekend is longer than usual the opening hours of dentists, GP surgeries and pharmacies are different. NHS East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Blackburn with Darwen CCG therefore want to ensure that when people are unwell they choose the right services so they get the best possible treatment.
Dr Chris Clayton, Clinical Chief Officer at NHS Blackburn with Darwen CCG, said: “Choosing the right services also allows the services that are most in demand over the holiday period to help those most in need. Quite often there is no need to see a GP with common illnesses, as pharmacists can give helpful advice and recommend appropriate medication without the need for a prescription.
“However, if you do take regular medication please make sure that you have enough stock to last over the bank holiday and make sure that you order any repeat prescriptions in good time before your GP practice closes for the weekend.”
While the practices are closed, patients are reminded that they can also call NHS 111 for free from their landline or mobiles.
Dr Phil Huxley, Chair at East Lancashire CCG, and a GP based in Earby, added: “When there are long weekends, people have a tendency to turn up at the Emergency Department or Urgent Care centres when they could have waited to see their GP or received advice from their local pharmacist.
“Pharmacists are very skilled health professionals and highly qualified to give health advice. There is also the free phone number 111 where patients will be able to receive advice on the best course of action for them therefore preventing unnecessary trips to hospital, reducing waiting times and freeing up emergency services for those most in need.”
All GP surgeries throughout East Lancashire and Blackburn with Darwen will be closed on Bank Holiday Monday (29 August).For primary care services or out-of-hours, please contact your GP practice and follow the instructions on the recorded message.
All dental practices will be closed over the bank holiday. However, if it is a dental emergency, the emergency dentist can be contacted on 0845 5333 230.