How to get medical help in Suffolk this weekend

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If you need medical help this holiday weekend please make sure you choose the right healthcare option.

That’s the message from GPs at the NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group and the NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group who are asking local people to make the right healthcare choice and avoid an unnecessary visit to their A&E department.

Dr Christopher Browning, chairman of the NHS West Suffolk CCG and a GP in Long Melford said: “Increasingly, hospital A&E departments are having to deal with patients turning up with conditions that could easily have been dealt with at home with a well stocked medicine cabinet, by asking their pharmacist for advice, calling NHS 111 or making an appointment with their GP.”

Dr Imran Qureshi, member of the Governing Body of the NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk CCG and a GP in Ipswich said: “Bank holiday weekends are notoriously busy for hospital A&E departments. With staff at A&E busy saving people’s lives it is vital that people with a minor injury or illness seek treatment or advice elsewhere.

“The number of and accessibility to health care options has increased over the years, so A&E really is the place for emergencies only.”

Options on healthcare over the bank holiday weekend:

Care for yourself and your family at home by having a well stocked medicine cabinet. Make sure you have the basics including plasters, paracetamol, diarrhoea medicine and indigestion remedy. Have a chat with your local pharmacist who’ll be happy to advise you on what you might need

Keep a note of the opening times and location of your nearest pharmacy that will be open over the bank holiday weekend. Remember that all GP surgeries and many pharmacies will be closed on bank holiday Monday. You can find your nearest pharmacy by calling the freephone NHS 111

Remember NHS 111 - This is a locally-based freephone service which is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Trained advisors will be able to give you non-emergecy advice on a health condition affecting you or a family member. NHS 111 will be able to put you in touch with the Suffolk out of hours service or the emergency 999 service should you need it.