Surrey Heartlands’ Joint Chief Medical Officer urges people to ‘Help us, help you’ ahead of the Easter bank holiday weekend.
People living in Surrey Heartlands are being urged to play their part in helping the NHS and social care teams manage what’s expected to be a very busy Easter bank holiday weekend.
The call, from the county’s Joint Chief Medical Officer, comes as the system continues to see a high demand for care across primary, community, social care, hospital, NHS 111 and ambulance services – with record numbers of people receiving care.
With frontline teams already very busy, local health and care leaders want to make sure people know how to access help and support if they need it over the Easter weekend and how to choose the right service.
Professor Andrew Rhodes, Joint Chief Medical Officer for Surrey Heartlands Health and Care Partnership explains:
Local health and care services remain incredibly busy as we continue to see and care for more people. Bank holiday periods always create an additional challenge so ahead of the Easter weekend we want to make sure people know how to access help if they need it - and encourage people to help the local NHS by using the right service.
We are asking people to plan ahead by getting any repeat prescription requests in early and, thanks to frontline teams who will be working throughout the Easter period, we also want to remind people about the range of services available and which to use when, always remembering that Emergency Departments and 999 are for life-threatening medical emergencies only.
Over the Easter weekend there are a range of services available that can offer advice and support and help people get treatment if they need it:
- Pharmacists are qualified healthcare professionals and experts in medicines. They can give clinical advice and help with over-the-counter medicines for a range of minor illnesses including coughs, colds, sore throats, tummy trouble and aches and pains. Details of pharmacies in Surrey Heartlands open over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend can be found online via the NHS website.
- GP practices – Some practices will be offering pre-booked appointments over the Easter period and there will also be GP appointments available through NHS 111. People can also visit their GP practice website or the NHS App for a range of online services (including repeat prescription requests, other online requests and to book a routine appointment).
- NHS 111, walk-in centres and urgent treatment centres – If you, or your family, need urgent health advice but it’s not an emergency you can get help at NHS 111 online at www.111.nhs.uk or by calling 111 24 hours a day. NHS 111 can provide advice over the phone and link you in with local services – including GP services, walk-in centres and other local services - to help you get the care you need in the right place.
- Emergency Department (also known as A&E) and 999 – these services are only for medical emergencies and life-threatening conditions. Please use them responsibly, and only in an emergency, so we can make sure people who are critically ill get the treatment they need as quickly as possible.
If you’re not sure where to go, or which service to choose, see NHS 111 online or call 111 and they can put you in touch with a range of services, including arranging out of hours GP appointments and referring you to a walk-in centre or Emergency Department if needed – to help you get the care you need.