People in Greenwich are being encouraged to know where to go for healthcare in case they are taken ill or injured over the Easter bank holiday weekend.
The Easter period is a busy time of year for local GP practices and hospitals. To ensure everyone can receive the care and treatment they need, it is important to remember there are a number of ways to get advice and support from the NHS locally.
Dr Ellen Wright, a local GP and chair of NHS Greenwich Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said:
"With Easter approaching, it's really important to be well prepared. This includes making sure you know where to go for NHS care, as there are a number of different options locally.
"Choosing the right service ensures that you receive the treatment you need in the right place at the right time – allowing our emergency services to focus on those who really need them.
"As well as being a valuable source of advice and offering over-the-counter medicines, pharmacies can also provide repeat prescriptions – but please be aware that the NHS receives many requests for these during this period.
"Ordering your repeat prescriptions well in advance will ensure you are well prepared for the four-day Easter bank holiday weekend. If you have elderly relatives or neighbours, you can help by asking if they need help collecting their medications."
Over the Easter period, people in Greenwich have a number of healthcare options:
- 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 over the weekend including Easter Monday. A full list is available to dsownload here: Greenwich Easter Pharmacy opening hours
- 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