Health services this Easter

Health services this Easter

With the four-day Easter bank holiday fast approaching, local doctors have issued some egg-cellent advice to help you to stay well and make sure you have enough medicines to see you through the holiday period.

If you rely on regular prescription medication, check now whether you have enough to see you through the bank holiday. If you need new supplies, be sure to order the items you need in time to collect them before Good Friday (19 April).  The extra-long bank holiday weekend means that some pharmacies and GP practices will be closed on Friday 19 April and Monday 22 April.  After the long weekend, GP and hospital services are likely to be busier than usual too. The good news is that there are pharmacies in every area with extra-long opening hours, dispensing advice as well as medicines.  To find one near you, go to:  www.enhertsccg.nhs.uk/pharmacies

While you’re checking to see if you have enough medicines, why not ‘spring clean’ your medicines cupboard?  Check whether you already have more than one month’s supply of any item that you need to take regularly.  If so, hold off re-ordering, because medicines have a ‘use by’ date and stockpiling medicines can be dangerous to other family members, particularly children.  Remember that you don’t need to order a medicine every month to keep it on your repeat prescription list.

Dr Prag Moodley, local GP and Chair of East and North Hertfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, 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.

“If you take a regular prescription, make sure you don’t get caught out and you have enough to see you through the whole bank holiday. Please order your repeat prescription with your surgery now, so that you don’t run out while your surgery is closed. Remind relatives who are coming to stay to pack their medicines too.

“If you’re out shopping for Easter treats why not pick up a few things for your medicine cabinet so you’re able to look after any very minor illnesses or injuries yourself. Basic essentials like paracetamol, ibuprofen, plasters, antiseptic cream,  and indigestion remedies can be bought from a supermarket or pharmacist - many of which are open late even at the weekend.  And if you’re keeping an eye on your spending this holiday, remember you don’t have to choose expensive branded products, non-branded versions work just as well.”

A limited number of routine appointments with GPs and practice nurses will be available over the Easter weekend. Appointments might be offered at a different practice to the one you’re used to, but the person treating you will be able to see your medical information.  To find out about booking one, speak to your surgery about ‘extended access’ appointments.  There’s more information about these appointments here:  www.enhertsccg.nhs.uk/extendedaccess