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Bank holiday puts 'extra pressure' on NHS

Bank holiday puts 'extra pressure' on NHS

Published by Dan Gooding at 8:00pm 23rd May 2019.

Bank holiday weekends can put extra pressure on our hospitals.

That's according to Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, ahead of the long weekend.

We are being encouraged to plan ahead, to avoid clogging up A&E.

What is their advice?

If you do succumb to a virus, minor conditions such as headaches, colds and back pain can be treated effectively by a pharmacist, who can offer a range of solutions and advice without the need to visit A&E.

Another service for patients this bank holiday is the NHS 111 free helpline, which can connect callers to a nurse, emergency dentist or even a GP, and can arrange face-to-face appointments if they think one is needed.

Healthcare options this bank holiday

Stoke Mandeville Hospital
Stoke Mandeville Hospital A&E always sees extra people turn up
  • NHS 111: the telephone helpline is open 24 hours a day and is staffed by trained individuals who will advise and guide you to the right service.
  • Urgent treatment centre at Wycombe Hospital, is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It is GP led and staffed by doctors and nurses. You can go there if you need urgent medical attention but it's not a life threatening situation. You can be treated for injuries like cuts, small burns or scalds, bites and stings, sprains and certain fractures, minor head injuries and foreign bodies in eyes.
  • Pharmacists can offer quick, early advice to patients who feel unwell and they can now provide some medicines usually only available on prescription. Many have private consulting rooms too.
  • Regular medication: ensure you have enough to cover the long weekend and request repeat prescriptions well in advance if necessary.
  • Medicine cabinet: stock up with over-the-counter remedies for ailments such as headaches, stomach upsets, cuts, grazes and stings and indigestion, including remedies for children.
  • Access Health help now: for up-to-date details on non-emergency services you can also access Health help now website for Buckinghamshire. It offers a symptoms checker, service listing and health advice so you can make sure you access the service that will give you the treatment you need. Just click here.
  • NHS Choices: for advice on symptoms, treatments and where to get help look here.

When to visit A&E

For life threatening conditions you must always phone 999 or go straight to accident and emergency. Go straight to A&E for conditions like:

  • Unconsciousness or difficulty breathing
  • Serious head injuries
  • Heart attack, severe chest pain or stroke
  • Obvious broken bones
  • Deep cuts that won't stop bleeding
  • Accidentally swallowed medicines or dangerous liquids
  • A rash that doesn't disappear when pressed with a glass
  • Severe burns and scalds
  • Fitting or concussion
  • Severe allergic reactions

For those with long term conditions

If you have a long-term health condition like: COPD; bronchitis, emphysema; diabetes; heart, kidney or liver disease or have suffered a stroke, a flu bug on top of health conditions like these can develop into something more serious.

If you start to feel unwell, at the first signs of symptoms of winter respiratory illness, even if it's just a cough or cold, get advice from your pharmacist, before it gets more serious.

You could save yourself a trip to A&E.

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