Be prepared at Easter, say health bosses

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If you need help over the Easter weekend, there is a range of NHS services available, say health bosses.

“Be prepared over Easter and keep A&E free for emergencies,” said Dr Andrew Foulkes, medical director at NHS Sussex.

“A medicine cabinet with basics including paracetamol is a good first line of defence. Pharmacists can also diagnose and treat a large number of conditions so it’s worth people dropping into their chemist and having a chat.

“People who take medicines regularly should check if they have enough to last over the Easter bank holiday weekend. If not, they should order a repeat prescription before the holiday.

“If people need medical advice outside surgery and pharmacy hours should call the GP out of hours service or NHS direct. People can visit one of the minor injury units or urgent treatment centres across the county.

“Hospitals across the county are currently seeing large numbers of people attending their A&E departments, admitting more people than is expected for this time of year and are expecting the number of people needing treatment to rise even further over the bank holiday weekend.

“It is important that we all know when to call an ambulance and when to use A&E and when not to, so that we all work together to keep the services free for the people who really need them.”

Many visits to A&E could be treated more quickly and more appropriately by another NHS service. For example, coughs, colds, hay fever and sore throats can be alleviated with over the counter remedies available from local pharmacies. Stock up at home on common medicines, such as paracetamol, cold and flu remedies and cough medicine, so you are prepared if you fall ill with a cold, cough or flu bug.

Many common complaints, such as back-ache, minor injuries, stomach upsets and sore-throats can be treated by obtaining advice from your GP practice or by calling NHS Direct on 0845 46 47.

The out-of-hours GP service can also provide help, support and treatment when your GP practice is closed. You can call them on 0300 130 1313.

If you need urgent medical advice or treatment when your GP practice is closed, you can call the out of hours service on 0300 130 1313. You will be given advice over the telephone of given an urgent appointment with a nurse of a doctor at an out of hours GP practice. This service is not for repeat prescriptions, test results or routine appointments.

Minor injury clinics in West Sussex can be found at:

Bognor Regis War Memorial Hospital Minor Injury Unit

Open 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, not including bank holidays

Shripney Rd, Bognor Regis, West Sussex, PO22 9PP

Telephone: 01243 865 418

Horsham Hospital Minor Injury Unit

Open 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, not including bank holidays

Hurst Road, Horsham, West Sussex, RH12 2DR

Telephone: 01293 600300 ext 7202

Queen Victoria Hospital Minor Injury Unit

Open 8am to 10pm, seven days a week, including bank holidays

Holtye Road, East Grinstead, West Sussex, RH19 3DZ

Telephone: 01342 414375

Crawley Hospital Urgent Treatment Centre

All centres are open 24 hours a day, seven days, including bank holidays

West Green Drive, Crawley, West Sussex, RH11 7DH

Telephone: 01293 600300 ext 4141