Local NHS Leaders are urging people to use health services wisely during the Easter Bank Holiday weekend (19th to 22nd April 2019).

As health services across the county prepare for a busy Easter weekend, Dr Ian Tait, GP and Clinical Chair for NHS Herefordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, advised:

“If you become ill during the Easter weekend there are a number of health services available including your local pharmacist, GP appointments via NHS 111 and the minor injury unit in Ledbury – please check the details below. If you are unsure which service you need or require non-emergency medical guidance, free advice is available 24 hours a day by calling NHS 111.

“Make sure you have medication at home to deal with minor injuries and common ailments like coughs, colds, upset stomachs, and allergies. People with long-term conditions like asthma, heart conditions and diabetes should collect any repeat prescriptions they might need before the Easter weekend”.

Jon Barnes, chief operating officer at Wye Valley NHS Trust, added: “Accident and Emergency is only for people with serious illnesses and injuries, so if it’s not life threatening or serious please access one of the NHS alternatives available to you.

“If you do attend our A&E department with a minor injury or illness you may end up waiting a long time to be seen whilst we see and treat urgent patients, such as those with breathing difficulties, chest pain, and serious road traffic incident injuries”.

Visit a pharmacy – pharmacists are trained to give advice about common illnesses, such as coughs, colds, and sore throats. Visit Herefordshire Clinical Commissioning Group website www.herefordshireccg.nhs.uk for the local pharmacy opening times during the Easter Bank Holiday weekend.

Call NHS 111 – If you need medical help fast, but your condition is not life threatening, you can call NHS 111. Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the number is free to call and is staffed by trained advisors and experienced clinicians who can assess you, offer advice and direct you to the right place to get the medical care you need as quickly as possible.

Book an appointment at an extended hours hub – if your regular surgery is closed and you need an appointment urgently that cannot wait until after the holiday period, you can call NHS 111 and ask for an appointment at one of the extended hours hubs (located in Hereford, Ross-on-Wye and Leominster). Please note there are a limited number of appointments available.

Minor injuries unit (MIU) – is located at Ledbury Community Health and Care Centre (01531 632488), which is open 24 hours a day, including Bank Holidays. Most minor injuries can be treated at the MIU, including cuts and rashes, minor burns, bruises, bites and stings.