People living across Lancashire and South Cumbria have been encouraged to be ready for the upcoming May bank holiday weekend by planning ahead for repeat prescriptions and using the most appropriate NHS service.
GP surgeries will be closed during this time, including Monday 2 May.
For any urgent care needs, patients are asked to visit 111.nhs.uk or call 111 to be signposted to the most appropriate service. This could be a walk-in centre, pharmacy or an out-of-hours GP appointment.
In a life-threatening situation, people should always call 999.
A number of pharmacies will remain open and can help people deal with minor ailments and illnesses, and provide expert advice. To find your nearest pharmacy and when it is open, click here.
By re-stocking their medicine cabinets if needed, knowing when their GP surgery is open, and planning ahead for any necessary repeat prescriptions, people can ensure they make the most of the long weekend. For more information on how to get the most out of your medicine cabinet, visit https://www.healthierlsc.co.uk/campaigns/self-care-1/medicine-cabinet
If you are experiencing a mental health crisis, the 24/7 Crisis Line is available on 0800 953 0110.
Dr Peter Gregory, associate medical director for Lancashire and South Cumbria, said: “This time of year can be a very busy time for NHS services, and using the 111 service online will help us treat patients in the right setting. This could also help keep staff free to deal with serious or life-threatening emergencies.
“It is also worth checking your general medicine cabinet before the bank holiday to make sure it is well stocked with essentials such as paracetamol, cough and cold remedies, antihistamines, and plasters and bandages.
“These can all be bought cheaply from supermarkets or pharmacies and your local pharmacist can also provide free, confidential, expert advice and treatment for a variety of common complaints.”
Kath Gulson, executive chair of Community Pharmacy Lancashire, said: “Making sure you have the right medicines could make all the difference. Taking daily medication is an important part of treatment for those with long-term health problems such as asthma and diabetes. People can be seriously ill if they run out of medicines and may need to be admitted to hospital, which can be avoided by ordering your prescription early.”