Doctors in Greenwich are encouraging local people to know where to go for health treatment and advice this bank holiday weekend.
While the long weekend is an opportunity for rest and relaxation, it is important to know that if you do need medical help, the NHS is still on hand with advice and treatment.
Dr Ellen Wright, a local GP and chair of NHS Greenwich Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said:
"Nobody wants to worry about their healthcare over the bank holiday weekend, so a few simple preparations beforehand can help ensure you are able to relax and enjoy the break.
"Just spend a few moments thinking about your NHS healthcare options so that you know exactly where to go for help and advice if you do become ill or injured. Choosing the right service not only means you receive the treatment you require, but also helps reduce pressure on urgent care teams – allowing them to focus on those who need them.
"Another simple measure is to keep a well-stocked medicine cabinet and making sure you order any repeat prescriptions in advance, so that there's no gap in your treatment."
There are a number of different options available locally if local people are taken ill or injured:
- Visit a pharmacy – Many common illnesses such as coughs or colds can be best and most easily treated by visiting your local pharmacy where you can seek help having to make an appointment. Your pharmacist can offer advice on how to look after yourself at home with rest and over-the-counter treatments. There are a number of pharmacies open in Greenwich on Monday 28 May. A full list is available on the Greenwich CCG website at www.greenwichccg.nhs.uk
- GP: Ring your GP to make an appointment. Not registered? Visit the NHS Choices website to find a GP near you.
- Evenings and weekends: GP evening and weekend appointments are available Monday to Friday 4pm to 8pm and Saturday and Sunday from 8am to 8pm. You can book through your normal GP practice or by calling NHS 111. This service is provided out of Thamesmead and Eltham from GP access hubs. You can easily reach these hubs through public transport.
- Not sure where to go? If you're unsure where to go or if you need medical help fast, but your condition is not life threatening, call the free NHS 111 number. Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, a trained advisor will offer you advice over the phone. If you need to be seen, they will be able to direct you to the best service to receive care. An online NHS 111 service is also available at https://111.nhs.uk/. You will answer questions about your symptoms and find out what to do next, including what NHS service you might need and how urgently.
- Call 999 – If there is a medical emergency or if someone you know has a life-threatening illness or injury, call 999 or visit A&E. Please remember that A&E should only be used for the most serious injuries or health conditions.
For more advice to help you and your family stay well, visit www.nhs.uk/staywell