Over the Easter long bank holiday and the school holidays many of us will be getting out and about as the weather hopefully improves.
Going to A&E or calling 999 should only be an option when someone is seriously ill or severely injured, with symptoms such as severe breathing difficulties or persistent and heavy bleeding.
If urgent medical help or advice is needed, or an individual is unsure of what service they require, call NHS 111. It is a free service, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The 111 service does not offer diagnosis over the phone; it advises and directs the individual to the appropriate service.
If your illness is not life threatening and you have been feeling unwell for a while it is likely that you may need to contact your doctor. Check with your GP surgery when they are open as most now offer evening and weekend appointments.
Not all ailments require a GP appointment; pharmacists are an excellent source of help and are fully trained to give advice for a wide variety of symptoms. This means you don’t have to spend time waiting in GP practice where you could catch other bugs and illnesses. You can find Easter opening hours for local pharmacies here.
Dr Peter Bibawy, acting Clinical Chair of NHS North East Hampshire and Farnham Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Over bank holidays and school holidays many of us take the opportunity to do odd jobs at home, visit family and friends, enjoy the great outdoors and travel abroad.
“I would urge everyone firstly to take care in what they are doing, and secondly to be sure they know where to turn if anything does happen. That way they can access the treatment they need much more quickly.”