Top tips for a happy holiday

Your local NHS in Southport, Formby and West Lancashire are reminding people to prepare for holidays wisely and to examine their options should they or a family member become ill or have an accident whilst out and about over the school holidays.

NHS Southport and Formby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS West Lancashire CCG are reminding people to be organised with packing if they’re going abroad and to think about which NHS service to use should a member of the family take ill over the break.

The advice they are offering for those preparing to go abroad is:

  • Remember to take your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) card if you are going to Europe
  • Pack plenty of sun cream, always pack a high factor and specialist sunscreen for children and babies
  • Try to keep out of the sun between 11am and 3pm when on holiday
  • If you have to go out in the heat, walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a hat
  • Wear light, loose fitting cotton clothes
  • Drink plenty of cold drinks to keep hydrated

With people being out and about a lot more with the family over the school holidays, the local CCGs in Southport, Formby and West Lancashire are also reminding people that A&E and 999 services are for life-threatening and serious conditions and to remind others of this should they become unwell.

Pharmacies can offer confidential advice on minor health issues and assist with what over the counter medication you can take. Over the August bank holiday when GP practices are closed, some pharmacies will remain open to ensure people can get the support they need; you can find out which pharmacies are open by visiting your local CCGs website and following them on social media, where there will be regular updates.

Dr Rob Caudwell, chair at NHS Southport and Formby CCG said: “It’s always a busy time over summer for the NHS and whilst we want you to have a good break, we are keen to remind you to use the NHS services in the right way. If you, a family member or someone you care for do become unwell do take a look at the advice on offer on which service to use depending on the health issue.

“It is a time when people become more active and make the most of being outdoors which we certainly encourage but a time when we may see more accidents and busier A&E departments. By using the services in the right way, it means that you are helping the NHS and other residents who may have a more urgent condition to be treated but always seek advice if you are unsure.”

Dr Peter Gregory, a GP in Ormskirk and GP executive lead at NHS West Lancashire CCG, said: “It’s not only important to make sure that you know where to go if you fall ill when you are at home, but also vitally important to make sure that you are fully prepared if you or a family member or friend falls ill if you go away on holiday.

“With the August Bank Holiday weekend fast approaching, it is important to prepare in advance if you require any repeat prescriptions over the weekend and to know which pharmacies are open on the Bank Holiday Monday, when GP practices will be closed.”

Feeling Unwell? – Examine Your Options
Across the area there are a range of health services to support people if they feel unwell or have any health concerns. There are services which you may be unfamiliar with, but could be more appropriate and convenient for you depending on your specific issue.

For minor ailments and injuries your best route to recover is likely to be self-care. There are a variety of services that can support you to do this:

Pharmacies
Your local pharmacy can offer free, confidential and expert advice on a range of health issues. They can help you prepare for many of the common illnesses and ensure you have a well-stocked medicine cabinet over the holiday period.

See opening times for pharmacies on August bank holiday Monday for Southport and Formby here: http://www.southportandformbyccg.nhs.uk/your-health-and-services/pharmacy-opening-times-over-the-bank-holidays/ and for West Lancashire here: http://www.westlancashireccg.nhs.uk/resources/patient-and-public-information/west-lancashire-pharmacy-bank-holiday-opening-times/

NHS.UK
You can find a wealth of trusted advice about hundreds of health conditions and details of GPs, pharmacies and dentists in your local area by visiting the NHS.uk website:  www.nhs.uk. It also includes a symptom checker.

NHS 111
When you need medical help or advice fast, but it is not a 999 emergency, you can also call the NHS 111 service.  NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and calls are free from mobiles and landlines.

If you need medical care for illnesses you cannot treat yourself, then your GP should be your next port of call.

Your Local GP
Your GP should be your first point of contact for non-emergency illnesses you can’t treat yourself. A GP will be available from 8.00am to 6.30pm weekdays (local GP practice times may vary).

If you don’t have a GP, you can register with your local surgery. If you’re not sure where this is, you can find out at: www.nhs.uk or call 0300 77 77 007.

GP Out of Hours Service
If your local surgery is closed, you can still see a GP with the GP out-of-hours service; just call 111 and you can speak to a local GP over the phone or face to face if necessary.

It is very likely that you and your family will be seen and treated more quickly using the out-of-hours service than if you were waiting to see a doctor in A&E, especially at busy times.

GP online services
Did you know you can order your repeat prescriptions and book or cancel your appointments online? Speak to your GP practice to register for this service. There is also an app called Patient Access which you can download from any apple or android store.

For more information visit: www.southportandformbyccg.nhs.uk/your-health-and-services

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