GPs in Newham are urging people to help the NHS by using local health services wisely over the May 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.
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 department 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 healthcare options. Make sure you choose the right one:
- Visit a pharmacy – Many common illnesses such as coughs or colds can be best and most easily treated by visiting your local pharmacy where you can seek help 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. There are a number of pharmacies open in Newham over the weekend including bank holiday Monday.
- Call NHS 111 – 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 number is free to call and is staffed by trained advisors and experienced clinicians.
- Book an appointment with a GP– If you need to see a GP on Saturday 5 May, Sunday 6 May, or Monday 7 May, you can make an appointment between 8am and 8pm. Appointments must be booked in advance by calling 020 7540 9949.
- Call the Newham GP out-of-hours service– If you want advice or are unsure where to go for treatment, you can call the Newham out of hours GP cooperative service on 020 7511 8880. You will be given advice and directed to the right place to get the medical care you need as quickly as possible.
- Mental health support– If you need help with an ongoing issue such as anxiety, feeling low, phobias, anger, extreme shyness or relationship issues, contact the Newham Talking Therapies Service on 0208 475 8080 or visit its website: newhamtalkingtherapies.nhs.uk If you are known to mental health services and feel you are deteriorating, contact the team and your named health worker who will be able to help you. If it is out of office hours, call 020 7540 6782.
- Call 999– If there is a medical emergency or if someone you know has a life-threatening illness or injury, call 999 or visit A&E. Please remember that A&E should only be used for genuine life-threatening emergencies.
Dr Muhammad Naqvi, local GP and deputy chair of NHS Newham Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “The bank holiday weekend is a time for relaxing and having fun. If you do get ill, the NHS is on hand to help and it is worth making sure in advance you know what options are available locally.
“No one wants to spend their bank holiday sitting in A&E and you don’t need to, as there are quicker, easier ways to get treatment.
“Choosing the right service ensures that you receive the help needed in the right place at the right time – and also helps 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