Despite the misconceptions, NHS services such as pharmacies and GP practices. Here are the things you should do before visiting A&E.
Residents of North West London are advised to make sure their medicine cabinets are fully stocked and they have their prescription medications in time for the bank holiday weekend.
There is a 24% rise in A&E attendances over the bank holiday Monday in North West London. Many other NHS services are overcrowded during these times, often for things that a little pre-planning or a trip to your pharmacist could allow you to avoid.
Many minor health conditions can be treated at home and your local pharmacist is a great place to get professional advice on many common illnesses and over the counter treatment. Pharmacy opening times are different over the bank holiday; click here for the opening times of your local pharmacy.
GP appointments are also available throughout the weekend from 8am to 8pm. These can be booked online calling NHS 111.
The North West London Health Help Now app is also available to download from your app store. The app contains self-help information and locations of local services.
Knowing the right place to visit for each health situation is vital to the operation of NHS services, and allows people to get the right care when they need it.
Make sure to stock up on your medicine cabinet before the bank holiday, so you can treat minor wounds yourself. Things like anti-septic cream, plasters, band aids and paracetamol should be the main things.
Also, if you have repeat prescriptions, make sure to call your GP practice as soon as possible to organise stocking up on your prescriptions in advance.
Extended GP access is also available over the bank holiday. Contact your local GP to find out the details.
Dr Genevieve Small, a GP in North West London said:
“Many people think of A&E as the place to go when they feel ill, but other local health services may be best to treat your condition. Visit your local GP service, which also usually has extended hours over the weekend. If you are not sure which service would be best call 111 who can provide you advice about the correct service for you in your area, don’t forget your local pharmacy who can offer advice on any minor injuries or illnesses with prescribed treatments as well”.
If you are unsure about what to do, or about the severity of your accident or illness, you can also call NHS 111 for expert medical advice. Call 999 or visit A&E in a life threatening situation, when absolute necessary.
For further information, please email the NW London CCGs communications team at firstname.lastname@example.org