Whether you’re out and about this weekend enjoying the Island or catching up on DIY and jobs in the garden, make the most of the Bank Holiday weekend by using the most appropriate NHS service should you need medical help or advice – that’s the message from the Isle of Wight NHS Trust this August Bank Holiday.
All GP Practices on the Island will be closed on Monday 29th August, but there are a number of other services available to help you if you feel you need to speak to a healthcare professional.
Using the right NHS service can ensure you get the fastest, most appropriate treatment without the need to travel far. Many people automatically head to the Beacon Centre or the Emergency Department at St. Mary’s Hospital when illness or accident strikes but this is not always the best option, particularly for minor problems such as persistent coughs and colds, minor cuts, bites and stings and sunburn.
Making a visit to a local pharmacy or calling 111 means that you get to speak to a healthcare professional quickly and can get the advice or treatment that you need. Nobody wants to be sat in a busy hospital waiting room when they don’t need to.
GP Dr Amy Poyner, from the Beacon Centre, said:
“With thousands of visitors on the Island this coming weekend we will be very busy. Before visiting the Beacon Centre always ring the Island based NHS 111 service. There is also some great advice on line at www.nhs.uk and for parents at www.what0-18.nhs.uk.
“Check out the rota for pharmacies open this coming weekend – there are 8 open on the bank holiday across the Island until late afternoon and evening.”
The following NHS services are available to Islanders and visitors over the Bank Holiday weekend:
• Self-care – people suffering from minor ailments such as sore throats, coughs and colds, hayfever, upset stomach, should treat themselves at home. Health advice is available online at www.nhs.uk or you can visit a pharmacy. For parents there is also the www.what0-18.nhs.uk website.
• Pharmacies – your local pharmacist is qualified to offer advice on health issues and medication as well as treat a range of minor illnesses. A list of local pharmacies open over the Bank Holiday is available at https://www.islandecho.co.uk/important-information/local-pharmacies. If you find that you’ve run out of your regular medication over the weekend, speak to a pharmacist.
• NHS 111 – a free phone service that is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Most calls are routed to the Island based service which is staffed by local doctors and nurses who can offer advice or, if necessary, arrange treatment. If you’re not sure which service you need or what to do and cannot wait until your GP practice reopens, call 111. They will take you through some step by step questions to work out the best service for you.
• Beacon Centre – for new, urgent health issues or worsening conditions which cannot wait until your own GP Practice is open. Call 111 first before attending the Beacon Centre.
• GP out-of-hours service – if you feel you need to see a doctor when your GP Practice is closed, call NHS 111.
• Emergency Department / 999 – these services are for life threatening emergencies such as loss of consciousness, persistent, severe chest pain, breathing difficulties, severe bleeding or if you have been referred by your GP for urgent assessment