As the country prepares to celebrate the historic Platinum Jubilee, the NHS in Devon is reminding people where to get help if they need it and to ensure they have enough prescription medication for the double bank holiday.
The NHS expects to experience similar extra pressures to those typically seen over the long bank holiday at Easter, with many GP practices closed on the public holidays and more people out enjoying the outdoors.
Dr Nigel Acheson, medical director for NHS Devon, said: “We know many people will be celebrating Her Majesty the Queen’s 70-year reign over the Jubilee weekend.
“We want people to enjoy this historic occasion, without having to worry about accessing medical care or running out of medication.
“Our NHS staff are still on hand if you need them, but please help us by choosing the right service and ensuring you have enough prescription medication to get you through the extended bank holiday.
“If people are visiting Devon over half-term, they can contact their practice back home for an online consultation and advice during practice opening hours in the run up to the bank holiday.
“Pharmacies will be open over the long weekend and you can find opening times for your nearest pharmacy on NHS England’s website.
“For more urgent issues, contacting 111 by phone or online first will get people the right treatment, more quickly, at any time of day or night.”
If you need further care or medication, NHS 111 advisors will direct you to the most appropriate service. They can also book appointments and check opening times for your nearest minor injury unit or urgent treatment centre.
If you need emergency care, NHS 111 advisors will arrange for you to be seen at a local emergency department.
They will ensure that staff in the department are expecting you and will see you as quickly as possible.
Meanwhile, many Covid-19 vaccination clinics will be running throughout half-term and the Jubilee weekend.
People who are eligible for a booster are urged to take up the offer. Children aged five to 11 need to attend a clinic to have their vaccinations, as do any 12-15s who are not yet fully jabbed as the secondary school vaccination programme has now ended.
Leigh Mansfield, programme director for Vaccination Services in North and East Devon, said: “Half-term is a great time to get your children vaccinated ahead of the summer holidays as Covid-19 restrictions are still in place for many travellers.
“We also welcome adults who haven’t yet had the vaccine and have decided to take up the offer now.”
Booked appointments can be made by calling 119 or the online national booking service or find local walk-in clinics.
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