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Issued on behalf of NHS North East Essex, NHS West Suffolk and NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk clinical commissioning groups

GPs are reminding people in east and west Suffolk and north east Essex that GP practices will be closed on bank holiday Monday May 25.

A number of pharmacies across the area will be open on the day.

Dr Hasan Chowhan, a GP in Colchester and chairman of NHS North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “If you have any concerns about coronavirus you should firstly visit the NHS 111 Online symptom checker for help and advice. It’s very important you do not go to your hospital’s emergency department or the local pharmacy as you could potentially be spreading the virus.”

Dr Mark Shenton, a GP in Stowmarket and chairman of NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “If you are feeling unwell with a non-coronavirus related concern then please speak to your local pharmacy or call NHS 111 or visit NHS Online. NHS 111 is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is manned by trained advisors who can offer advice or arrange for you to see a doctor or nurse if appropriate.”

Dr Christopher Browning, a GP in Long Melford and chairman of NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “If you use repeat prescription medicine make sure you have enough to last for the bank holiday. It takes at least 48 hours for your GP practice to process a repeat prescription request, and during this time sometimes longer, and it then needs to be dispensed by the pharmacy."

Tania Farrow, Pharmacist and Chief Officer of Suffolk Local Pharmaceutical Committee, said: “Where a pharmacy is open local to you, they can support you with help and advice about minor ailments, prescription queries and can provide a range of other services. They should be your first point of contact this bank holiday and will signpost you to other services if they feel you need additional support.”

The pharmacy information page of the NHS England website HERE will be updated later this week with details of local pharmacies open on bank holiday Monday May 25.