WITH two bank holiday weekends fast approaching, health bosses in West Sussex are reminding residents to make sure they know where they can get NHS help if they need it.
People are also being advised to stock up on prescriptions and medicines they may need during the back-to-back weekends.
Judith Wright, director of public health at NHS West Sussex, said: “We want people to enjoy themselves over the bank holidays, to have fun and stay safe, and a small amount of planning will really help that.
“If you need regular medicines and could run short over the holidays, talk to your GP practice now and organise your repeat prescriptions before the bank holiday weekends.
“If you need help with routine medical care when your practice is closed, some pharmacies will be open around the county and can offer advice on minor problems, and treatments to help.
“You can also contact NHS Direct 24 hours a day on 0845 46 47 or visit www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk.
“During bank holidays we do tend to see a rise in the number of people using emergency care services.
“As patients, we can all do our bit to think about which service is most appropriate for our needs.
“This will help to make sure that everyone can get the right advice or treatment from the right health care professional and at the right time.
“A&E departments are not always the most appropriate place to go; that is why there is a range of services available across the whole of West Sussex.
“If your condition is not life-threatening but you do need urgent help, consider if you could get the right treatment from the Urgent Treatment Centre in Crawley Hospital, which is open throughout the bank holiday weekends 24/7, or one of the minor injuries units in Bognor Regis, Horsham or at the Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead.
“They all provide fast, effective treatment for a wide range of minor injuries and ailments.”
There are a wide range of health care services available during the bank holiday weekends in West Sussex:
For absolutely any health questions, around the clock, and to find your local NHS services call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47 or visit www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk
If you need to see a doctor and it can wait until they are open, call your practice and make an appointment with your GP, or if you need advice about remedies for common illnesses - ask your pharmacist.
There will be pharmacists open 24 hours a day over the holidays – call NHS Direct 0845 46 47 or visit www.nhs.uk to find your nearest open pharmacy.
If you need to contact a doctor outside normal surgery hours, you should call your surgery where you will hear an answer phone message telling you how to contact the out-of-hours service. This service should only be used for urgent medical problems that cannot wait until your GP practice re-opens.
If you have injuries that need medical attention but which are not life threatening - you can go to your nearest Minor Injuries Unit or Urgent Treatment Centre - the easiest way to find your nearest centre is by calling NHS Direct on 0845 46 47.
Crawley Hospital UTC - 01293 600300 ext 4141 (Open 24 hours, including weekends and bank holidays).
Queen Victoria Hospital MIU in East Grinstead - 01342 414375 (Open 8am-10pm, seven days a week including bank holidays)
Bognor Regis War Memorial Hospital MIU - 01243 623564 (Open 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday, except bank holidays)
Horsham Hospital MIU - 01293 600300 ext 7202 (Open 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday, except bank holidays)
Emergency Departments (A&E) are just that, for life threatening injuries or illnesses. By choosing the most appropriate health service you will receive the right treatment fast, leaving emergency services to those who need them most. For all medical advice and to find your nearest NHS services call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47 or visit www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk