With health care services still under enormous pressure, people across Suffolk and north east Essex are being encouraged to be prepared and know what to do if they or a family member feels unwell over the Easter weekend.
Dr Hasan Chowhan, a GP in Colchester and chairman of NHS North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Although it is good news that lockdown restrictions are easing and so many vaccinations have been administered, it is very important we remain cautious and comply with the rules.
“The NHS is there to help you over the Easter holidays, but by being prepared you’ll be best placed to self-care at home. That way you’ll be helping hard-pressed staff during this very busy time.
“And please remember that if you have the symptoms of coronavirus – a high temperature and new continuous cough – you should remain at home and not go to the pharmacy, GP practice or hospital and follow the advice on NHS 111 Online.”
Dr Mark Shenton, a GP and chairman of NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group, said: "I would encourage everyone to have at hand the medicine cabinet essentials including paracetamol, sticking plasters, indigestion remedy and anti-diarrhoeal medicine. Your pharmacist will be happy to offer advice on what medicines you should keep at home.
“It's also important to have enough repeat medicine to last over the holidays. Remember your GP surgery will be closed on Good Friday (April 2) and Easter Monday (April 5) and you need to leave enough time for your surgery to process a repeat prescription.”
Dr Christopher Browning, a GP in Long Melford and chairman of NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “If you or a family member feels unwell firstly visit the NHS 111 Online symptom checker or telephone NHS 111 for help and advice. Both of these services are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“Some pharmacies will be open over the holiday weekend, including Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday, so keep a note of the location of the pharmacy nearest to you and its opening times. Pharmacies are a great source of help and advice and the pharmacist could offer you over-the-counter medicine that will help you get better.”
Junchao Jiang, pharmacist from The Pharmacy Long Melford, said: “Spring is a good opportunity to review your medicine cabinet at home, including essentials that cater for the change in season and that they are within their expiry dates. A pharmacist can help you with the advice you need to be ready for any minor ailment.
“Over the Easter Holidays, some pharmacies will remain open to provide essential advice and services. Please do order your repeat prescription in good time, allowing 5-7 days for these to be processed and dispensed safely, whilst leaving enough time for the pharmacy team to support those most vulnerable or who may have more complex needs.”
You can see a list of pharmacies open over the Easter weekend - https://www.england.nhs.uk/east-of-england/nhs-england-and-nhs-improvement-east-of-englands-work/pharmacy-information/
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