As the Easter holiday approaches, GPs in Tower Hamlets are urging people to use local healthcare services wisely – as well as reminding them they can access treatment and advice from their local pharmacy and NHS 111.
The Easter period is a busy time of the year for local GP practices and hospitals. To ensure everyone can receive the care and treatment they need, it is important to remember there are a number of ways to get advice and support from the NHS locally.
This includes visiting your local pharmacy for help treating coughs, colds and other minor ailments, and contacting NHS 111 free if you need health advice urgently. It is also advisable to keep your medicine cabinet well stocked with supplies such as paracetamol, indigestion medication, ibuprofen, antihistamines and plasters to help you deal with any minor health issues should the need arise.
If you have a long-term health condition, you should ensure you prepare for the upcoming bank holidays by requesting well in advance any repeat prescriptions you might need.
Over the Easter period, people in Tower Hamlets have a number of healthcare options:
- Visit a pharmacy – Many common illnesses such as coughs or colds can be best and most easily treated by visiting your local pharmacy and speaking 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. You don’t need an appointment and many pharmacists have private consultation areas. A number of pharmacies will be open over the Easter weekend, including the bank holidays.
- NHS 111 service – Contact NHS 111 online via 111.nhs.uk or call the free NHS 111 number to access a medical professional who will assess you any time of day or night. If you need to be seen, they will be able to direct you to the best service for your needs and can also arrange a GP ‘hub’ appointment if you need one.
- GP: Ring your GP to make an appointment. Not registered? Visit the NHS website to find a GP near you.
- Evenings and weekends: If your GP practice is closed, there are a number of GP ‘hub’ services across Tower Hamlets, which are open every day, including bank holidays. To get an appointment you must be registered with a Tower Hamlets GP. If you live in the borough, contact your registered GP practice, who can book a GP appointment if you need one. If you are visiting or work in the borough, call NHS 111 for advice on where you can go for a GP appointment if you need one
- NHS Choices: Visit the NHS Choices website to find services near you and an A-Z guide on how to look after yourself.
- For more information about the local healthcare services available in Tower Hamlets, you can search for details via myhealthlondon on the CCG’s website here or visit http://www.nhs.uk/service-search
Sir Sam Everington, a local GP and chair of NHS Tower Hamlets Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “With Easter approaching, being well prepared is essential. This includes making sure you know where to go for NHS care as there are a number of options locally.
“No one wants to spend their time sitting in A&E and you don’t need to, as there are quicker, easier ways to get treatment, or to be seen by a nurse or doctor.
“Going to the right place ensures 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.”
For more advice to help you and your family stay well, visit www.nhs.uk/staywell