Need medical advice this bank holiday? Know your NHS options

22 August 2017

GPs in Havering are urging people to help the NHS by using local health services wisely over the summer bank holiday weekend.                                                                 

The long weekend is a great time for relaxing but if you get injured or you become ill unexpectedly, the NHS is still on hand. Even on bank holiday Monday appointments are available with local GPs through our GP hubs. 

By choosing the right place for treatment and advice, you will get the help you need more quickly. You will also be keeping your local A&E free to treat those with the most serious or life threatening illnesses or injuries. 

People who require health services over the bank holiday weekend have a number of options: 

  • NHS 111 service – If you need medical help fast, but your condition is not life threatening, you can call NHS 111. Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the freephone number is staffed by trained advisors and experienced clinicians who can assess you, offer advice and direct you to the right place to get the medical care you need as quickly as possible.
  • Pharmacy – Many common illnesses such as coughs or colds can be best and most easily treated by visiting your local pharmacy and you can speak to a pharmacist without 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. Follow this link for a full list of pharmacies that are open this bank holiday. 
  • Urgent GP appointments – Urgent, same day, bookable appointments are available every weekend and on bank holiday Monday at our GP hubs. On Saturday and Sunday, appointments are available between 8am and 8pm, as well as 12 midday to 5pm on bank holiday Monday. To book an urgent same day appointment call 020 3770 1888 or NHS 111. 

Dr Atul Aggarwal, a local GP and chair of Havering Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “If you do get ill over the bank holiday weekend, there are lots of ways that you can get the care you need. No one wants to spend their bank holiday sitting in A&E and you don’t need to, there are quicker, easier ways to get treatment, or to be seen by a nurse or doctor. 

“Going to the right place for your condition ensures that you receive the help you require as quickly as possible, and it also helps to free up A&E for people with life threatening injuries and illnesses.”