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Order your repeat prescriptions in good time and ‘Think!’ when accessing healthcare services, urge local doctors

During public holidays pharmacies and GP surgeries often operate under reduced staff and opening hours meaning it is advisable to ensure you have anything you might need prior to the start of the holiday.

Dr Mike Ions, a local GP and East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG) Chief Clinical Officer, said: “My advice is to check your medication is up to date and if necessary contact your GP for a repeat prescription or for a check-up. People with long-term conditions like asthma, heart conditions and diabetes should collect any repeat prescriptions they might need in plenty of time.

I would also urge people to check they have medication at home to deal with minor injuries and common ailments like coughs, sneezes, colds and upset stomachs Every home should have a basic medicine cabinet stocked with:

  •  Paracetamol
  • Ibuprofen
  • Cough medicine
  • An antacid for indigestion
  • Throat lozenges
  • Plasters/Bandages for any cuts or scrapes”

At the same time, the holidays are always a busy period for our county’s accident and emergency departments and ambulances services and we would urge people to think twice before attending or calling 999,  it may be that there is a better option to get you the care you needed faster and more efficiently.

Dr Chris Clayton, Clinical Chief Officer at NHS Blackburn with Darwen CCG added: “We want everyone to be safe, healthy and happy over the summer, including over the bank holiday. By looking after yourself, your family, friends and neighbours properly, you can help the NHS help those who need medical treatment get the treatment they need.

We would always recommend people make every effort to care for themselves in their own home where they can, and it’s important they have the information they need to be able to choose the most appropriate health service.”

By following the Think! advice (below) people can also make sure they get the right treatment from the most appropriate NHS service.

  • Self care - for treatment of minor illnesses, ailments and injuries. A range of common illnesses and complaints such as coughs, colds, diarrhoea and sickness can normally be treated with a well-stocked medicine cabinet and plenty of rest.
  • Pharmacy -Your pharmacy will give you advice on most minor illnesses and you can buy over-the-counter remedies to relieve your symptoms.
  • GP Surgery -Your local family doctor (GP) is the main point of contact for you and your family’s general health care. Order your repeat prescriptions in good time to ensure you have all your medication over the bank holiday.
  • GP Out of Hours Service -For GP advice or appointments which won’t wait until your surgery is open, call 111 
  • Minor Injuries Units -Minor injuries units deal with problems such as suspected fractures, cuts, bruises, minor eye problems, burns, scalds and sprains. If you need advice on the best place to go to treat your illness, call 111.
  • Urgent Care Centres -Urgent Care Centres are for serious conditions such as suspected broken bones or breathing difficulties which need immediate care but are not life threatening.
  • Accident and Emergency/999 -Calling 999 or going to A & E is for people who are seriously ill or whose life is in danger.