People in North Tyneside are being asked to help ease the pressure on NHS accident and emergency services this Easter.
The NHS is asking people with non-emergency health issues to visit a local pharmacy or to call 111 if they need quick access to health advice and treatment over the bank holiday weekend.
Local GP and Clinical Chair of NHS North Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Dr John Matthews said:
“If you need urgent medical help when your doctor’s surgery is closed, but it’s not a 999 emergency, call NHS 111, a free service which is open 24 hours a day. 111 can give you advice on how to look after yourself at home or direct you to a nearby NHS service that can help.
“If you need to see a GP over the Easter bank holiday you can call NHS 111 who will be able to arrange an appointment.”
“Patients can also use the local walk-in centres at Battle Hill Health Centre and North Tyneside General Hospital to get help with a wide range of minor injuries and illnesses, such as stomach complaints, ear infections, sprains, strains and minor wounds.
”Bank holidays always put added pressure on local NHS services, so it is really helps if patients can choose the most appropriate treatment.”
North Tyneside CCG Patient Forum member, Sandra Gillings said: “If you’re not feeling well over Easter, you can call NHS 111 or visit your local pharmacy.
“Pharmacies can help with more than you might think, and can offer expert, confidential advice and treatment for lots of common problems. They can usually be found close to your home, on the high street or in some of the larger local supermarkets.”
Although some GP practices are closed over Easter, many pharmacies will remain open over the bank holiday. Details of local pharmacy locations and opening times can be found online at: www.urgentoremergency.co.uk
The walk-in service at Battle Hill Health Centre is open 8am-8pm and the service located at North Tyneside General Hospital is open 8am until midnight. Both services are open seven days a week, including bank holidays.