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The NHS in Suffolk and north east Essex has teamed up with Visit Suffolk, Visit Essex and local councils to offer summer staycation health advice to people spending their holidays here rather than going abroad.

The system is expecting more local people to take day trips within the area and more people from elsewhere in the country to book a short break here this summer.

The NHS is advising people to ensure they stay hydrated and use sun cream on hot days. People on prescription medication such as asthma inhalers should always take their medication with them on holidays or day trips in case they need it.

If anyone does feel unwell and needs clinical advice, calling 111 is the quickest way to access urgent care for people over the age of five. 111 call handlers have a team of medical professionals behind them to assess each call and can book people into the nearest NHS facility, wherever they are.

For minor ailments people should go to a local pharmacy. Pharmacists can help with a number of problems such as coughs, colds, sore throats, eye infections, hay fever, tummy troubles, aches and pains, constipation, diarrhoea, bites and stings, sunburn, blisters and minor cuts and grazes.

A list of local pharmacies can be found on the NHS website: https://www.nhs.uk/service-search/find-a-pharmacy/.

Beach patrols can also give first aid, provide wristbands for children, offer water safety advice and help to find a missing child.

999 should only be used in emergencies where there is a threat to life. The coastguard can also be summoned via 999 if someone is in difficulty in the water.

This advice is being distributed to accommodation providers in Suffolk and north east Essex with the help of Visit Suffolk and Visit Essex.

East Suffolk Council and Tendring District Council are displaying posters giving basic health advice and signposting people to the right service if they need treatment at key sites along the coast. The councils are also placing sticker versions of the posters on seafront rubbish bins. These all promote the dedicated web pages holding more information: in north east Essex www.livewellcampaign.co.uk/staysafeessex and in Suffolk www.ipswichandeastsuffolkccg.nhs.uk/SummerHealth.

Dr Hasan Chowhan, GP at Creffield Medical Centre and Chair, North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Staying safe over the summer months - even if we’re not getting on a plane - takes a bit of thought and if medical treatment is required it’s important to know which NHS service to use to get the right treatment in the shortest possible time.”

Dr Lindsey Crockett, GP at the Peninsula Practice in Woodbridge, said: “Many of us are looking forward to a break or a few days out over the summer but in the NHS we know that things can go wrong very quickly. We hope this information will help people to enjoy the summer safely by preparing for their holidays and days out and to access the right care more quickly should they need it.”

Dr Angela Tillett is Chief Medical Officer at East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Colchester and Ipswich hospitals.

She said: “I hope everyone enjoys their summer holidays in north Essex and east Suffolk and that they enjoy them safely too.

“If you find you need treatment, but it’s not an emergency, call NHS 111 or visit 111.nhs.uk first, or contact a local pharmacy for help with minor or routine problems. “It’s important that anyone with concerns about their health comes forward for help and treatment whether they’re at home or away, but the best way you can support the NHS over the summer is to use services appropriately.”

Helen Cutting, Brand Manager, Visit Suffolk, said: ‘‘It has been a privilege for Visit Suffolk to work with the NHS on this campaign and enable it to reach an audience that would have otherwise been difficult to communicate with.

Visit Suffolk and partners have been promoting the region this summer to domestic audiences under the banner of ‘Escape the Everyday’ , a campaign promoting experiences in the East of England.

The thread running through this and previous campaigns has been to enjoy summer safely, ‘know before you go’ and Respect, Protect and Enjoy.They have also been working with businesses to sign up to the ‘we’re good to go standard.’ to enable visitors to have confidence when out and about visiting attractions and tourism businesses.”

Lisa Bone, Tourism and Place Marketing Manager said: “This is such an important campaign. Like Visit Suffolk we have been part of the national tourism campaigns and supporting the messaging through our own campaigns. We are anticipating a busy summer which is great and what the tourism industry needs. We have a campaign encouraging people to break away from the crowds and make memories in Essex but with that we urge visitors to be respectful and take care of themselves and one another.”