The NHS in West Yorkshire is urging people to plan ahead for their healthcare needs in the run up to what is expected to be a particularly busy time for health and care services in the region.
The spring bank holiday falls on Monday 29 May so it’s important that you are prepared and know how to get help if needed during this time.
Dr James Thomas, Medical Director for the NHS West Yorkshire Integrated Care Board, said:
“Many health and care staff will be working over the bank holiday period, but services are likely to be extremely busy. Stay well by acting now and please choose the right service for your needs if you need support during this time.
“If you take regular medication, check you have enough for the week ahead and if you need more, please order and collect it before the bank holiday. Having a well-stocked medicine cabinet and taking care if you’re taking part in physical activities will also help avoid a visit to your local emergency department.
“It is important that people continue to use our services when they need them. If you or someone close to you needs medical help, please get advice about the most appropriate treatment option by using 111 online (111.nhs.uk) or calling 111 if you don’t have access to the internet. Remember 999 and A&E departments are for the most serious or life-threatening injuries or illnesses.”
NHS 111 is a free, 24 hour online or phone service that provides help and advice on the most appropriate medical care; it can also arrange phone consultations with healthcare professionals and book appointments at urgent treatment and out of hours medical centres. Parents and carers of young children can also find health advice on the West Yorkshire Healthier Together website.
For people who have repeat prescriptions, electronic repeat dispensing (known as eRD) gives them the reassurance of knowing their next prescription will be ready for collection at their pharmacy when they need it, and flexibility so they have medication at busy times like bank holidays. Guidance on how to order a repeat prescription is also available on the NHS website, or you can use the NHS App to order repeat prescriptions, or change your nominated pharmacy, in just a few taps. You can also use the NHS website to find a pharmacy near you which will be open over the bank holidays.
People may also consider having at home a small stock of basic medicines for minor illness or injury. These may include paracetamol, plasters, indigestion remedy and anti-diarrhoeal medicine. See the NHS website for advice on what you should keep in your first aid kit, or ask your local pharmacist for advice.
Mental health support will continue to be available throughout the bank holiday period. Visit togetherwe-can.com/mental-health for details of local services. For urgent help in a mental health crisis, call your local 24 hr helpline:
• Bradford 0800 952 1181
• Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield 0800 183 0558.
Regardless of the bank holiday, the NHS is urging anyone who needs medical care to continue to come forward in the normal way: attending booked appointments unless they are contacted; using NHS 111 for advice on which service to use; or calling 999 or going to your nearest emergency department (A&E) if someone is seriously ill or injured, or their life is at risk.
· NHS 111 online – get help for your symptoms.
· NHS electronic repeat dispensing (eRD) regional webpage.
· How to order a repeat prescription
· NHS advice on what to keep in a first aid kit at home.