Ahead of the Easter bank holiday, the Care Group is encouraging people in Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest to prioritise their health by ordering repeat prescriptions early and stocking up on any medication for any existing health conditions.
Over the long weekend, some GP surgeries and pharmacies may be closed, or working reduced hours so it is important for residents to take this into consideration when planning for their healthcare needs during this time.
Pharmacists can support with minor medical problems and a list of services that will be open during the long weekend can be found on the NHS London and the NHS Find a Pharmacy websites, which will be updated regularly to show the opening hours of local pharmacies over the bank holidays.
If people are unsure whether urgent medical or dental care is needed over the Easter break, NHS 111 online remains the best first port of call where a trained adviser will provide the optimal care pathway.
Vicky Scarborough, Executive Director for The Care Group’s Primary Care team said:
“While we of course will continue to provide care across many services in the capital over the bank holidays, we do anticipate emergency departments to be busier, so it’s important for people to prepare early where you can, to look after yourself, friends and family with any long-term health conditions and avoid any preventable trips to A&E.”
“I would encourage people to collect any repeat prescriptions beforehand to ensure you have enough medication to last over the Easter bank holiday weekend.”
“If you aren’t sure if you need to visit A&E for a medical problem, NHS 111 online will give you fast healthcare advice and next steps. However, in an emergency, life-threatening situation, it is important you call 999 as soon as you can.”
Junior Doctors’ strike
Residents are also reminded of the upcoming junior doctors’ strike which follows the Bank Holiday, from 7am on Tuesday 11 April until 7am on Saturday 15 April.
Vicky added: “Your local NHS has put in place additional capacity to support patients through emergency care, GP hubs, and community services. However, we urge patients to choose services wisely during the industrial action and to take simple steps to ensure care is available to patients who need it most. This includes using 111 as the first port of call for health needs and continuing to only use 999 if it is a life-threatening emergency.
“Patients who need urgent medical care are encouraged continue to come forward as normal especially in emergency and life-threatening cases.”