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Choose Well this Bank Holiday

With the Spring Bank Holiday weekend upon us, it's likely many of you will be out and about enjoying Devon and everything it has to offer. This year, the Spring Bank Holiday falls on Monday 27 May 2019. We have gathered some top tips from our local clinicians should you or your loved ones need medical advice this weekend.

Pharmacies can ease people's pain this weekend

With Devon’s NHS facing a busy time ahead of the Spring bank holiday weekend, pharmacies are the place for people to go for minor ailments.

GP practices and A&E departments are often under even more pressure at this time of year, but pharmacies can take the strain from people with aches and pains, sore throat, coughs, colds, flu, earache and skin rashes.

Pharmacies are open until late and at weekends, you don't need an appointment, and most have a confidential consulting area.

Pharmacy opening hours for the Spring Bank Holiday weekend across Devon, Plymouth and Torbay are available on the NHS England website here.

GP Appointments available this weekend

This bank holiday weekend, people across Devon can book a GP appointment if they need it. The GP improved access service, which enables patients to see a GP any day of week, is an extension of the usual GP practice services that patients across Devon will be used to – it is not a walk-in service.

You might not be able to see your usual doctor, however, the GP you see can prescribe medication or refer you for further treatment if necessary. Contact you practice if you need to book an appointment.

For urgent medical help or advice when GP practices are closed, go straight to 111.

Remember to order your repeat prescriptions

With some GP practices and pharmacies closed over the bank holidays, or with varied opening hours, remember to pick up your repeat prescriptions in advance.

Each bank holiday sees many patients calling NHS 111 because they have run out of medication, leading to unnecessary worry for themselves and increasing pressure on busy urgent care and out-of-hours NHS services.

Every practice handles repeat prescriptions differently, so if patients are unsure of their deadlines they should speak to practice staff early to find out about the process.

Look after yourself this weekend

The bank holiday weekend traditionally puts extra pressure on health services, with visitors to Devon increasing the number of people here at a time when some GP practices are closed.

A&E departments are not an alternative to a GP appointment, so patients should only attend A&E if they have a genuine life-threatening emergency.

NHS |  Call NHS 111
Published 1 October 2018

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