With the bank holiday weekend fast approaching, health professionals from NHS Thanet Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are reminding residents to plan ahead to stay well.
People with asthma, diabetes or any other long-term health condition, who take regular medication to keep them well, should make sure they have enough to last the bank holiday weekend. Anyone who is going away on holiday is asked to make sure they take their medication with them.
Dr Jihad Malasi, Chair of NHS Thanet Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: "It is important for anyone who takes regular medication to make sure they have sufficient supply, so please contact your GP surgery now to order a repeat prescription in time.
“Why not take time now to restock your medicine cabinet with essentials such as paracetamol, plasters and children’s medicine to avoid an urgent trip out over the bank holiday weekend?
“If you do run out of medicine, contact your local pharmacy. Pharmacists can offer help and advice on many illnesses, such as colds and fevers, which can be treated at home without the need to see a doctor. And your regular pharmacist may be able to supply a small amount of emergency medication, to tide you over, if needed.
“There are local pharmacies open on the bank holiday, and, to find them, people can use Health Help Now which is available on the web at www.healthhelpnow.nhs.uk or it can be downloaded from the Google Play and the App Store.
“If you urgently need medical care when your GP practice is closed, and the pharmacy can’t help, please ring NHS 111 for advice. They can arrange for you to see an out-of-hours GP service if necessary.”
Not everyone knows that advice and treatment can be provided by a pharmacist rather than having to book an appointment to see a GP. Many treatments are available from as little as £1 from a pharmacy or supermarket.
Pharmacists also provide expert, free, confidential advice on health issues such as cold sores, constipation, coughs, cystitis, diarrhoea, headache, mild eczema, sunburn, sprains and strains. You can simply turn up and ask for advice with no prior appointment.
Dr Malasi added: “Don’t forget, if the sun breaks through, to use sunscreen, sunhats, and to drink plenty of water to stave off sunburn and dehydration.”
GP practices in east Kent are offering additional appointments over the bank holiday weekend. These appointments will not necessarily be at your usual GP practice, but the health professionals treating you will be able to see your full medical record, with your consent.
Patients who need an appointment will be allocated the most suitable clinician for their need and should contact their normal GP practice before Friday to book one of these appointments.
These additional appointments are available during the rest of the year every weekday evening until 8pm, on both Saturdays and Sundays and bank holidays.
Minor injury units
There are six minor injury units (MIUs) in east Kent and an urgent treatment centre (UTC) which can treat a number of conditions. Patients are often seen much quicker at an MIU or UTC than an A&E department.
Health Help Now also links to the WaitLess app, which combines current waiting times at MIUs – drawn from the official NHS system – with up-to-the-minute travel information, helping you to decide where to head to for faster treatment for minor injuries.
Kent and Canterbury Hospital, Ethelbert Road, CT1 3NG Tel: 01227 864244
Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, X-ray - Mon – Fri: 8am to 8pm, Sat & Sun: 8am to 4pm
Victoria Hospital Minor Injury Unit, London Road, CT14 9UA Tel: 01304 865313
Open daily, 8am to 8pm, X-ray: 9am until 5pm, Monday to Friday, except bank holidays.
Buckland Hospital, Coombe Valley Road, CT17 0HD Tel: 01304 222621
Open daily, 8am to 8pm, X-ray - Mon – Fri: 9am to 4.45pm
Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital, King Edward Avenue, CT6 6EB Tel: 01227 594700
Open daily, 8am to 8pm, X-ray, phone for times
Faversham Health Centre, Bank Street, ME13 8QR Tel: 01795 562005
Open daily, 8am to 8pm, X-ray - Mon – Fri: 10am to 4pm
Royal Victoria Hospital, Radnor Park Avenue, CT19 5BN Tel: 01303 852727
Open daily, 8am to 8pm, X-ray 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.
Whitstable (Urgent Treatment Centre)
Estuary View Minor Injury Unit, Boorman Way, CT5 3SE (Sat nav: CT5 3RL) Tel: 01227 284300
Open daily, 8am to 8pm X-ray – Daily: 8am to 8pm
The Dementia Helpline is open 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.
The Release the Pressure campaign, provided by independent charity Mental Health Matters and funded by Kent County Council, urges people to seek help by calling Freephone 0800 107 0160 where support is available from trained and experienced staff 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Visit the website at: www.releasethepressure.uk
Live Well Kent can help people improve their mental and physical health and wellbeing. It is a free service for anyone over 17. Visit the website https://livewellkent.org.uk or phone 0800 567 7699.
Samaritans provides confidential support for anyone feeling down, depressed or anxious, as well as those who may be feeling despair. Volunteers can be contacted 24/7 on 116 123 (UK), or email email@example.com or face-to-face; visit www.samaritans.org for details of your local branch.
If you need urgent medical help but it is not a 999 emergency, call the free NHS 111 phone service.