NHS Medway Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which plans and pays for most of the area’s healthcare, wants to make sure you’re prepared for the Bank Holiday weekend.
As GP surgeries will be closed on Monday (30 May) the commissioners have issued a Bank Holiday health guide:
- Anyone who takes regular medication should check they have enough to last until at least the week after the Bank Holiday. Patients should ask for a repeat prescription in plenty of time but only order what they need. Stockpiling of medication is potentially risky and wastes NHS resources.
- Take time to restock medicine cabinets while doing your general shopping. It is better to have painkillers or plasters in the house than having to drive around looking for them when many shops are closed.
- Those with smartphones or computers should download the Health Help Now web app from www.healthhelpnow-nhs.net or from Google Play or the App Store. It can guide you to the best service for your symptoms.
Health Help Now was launched by the NHS in Kent and Medway to help people find the right treatment, any time day or night, and wherever they are in the county. It can identify the nearest chemist which is open and give directions – ideal for evenings or bank holidays. The downloadable version features a new ‘health wallet’ to jot down notes about your symptoms; note questions to ask a GP; list health appointments and contacts and save pages from Health Help Now.
Those who don’t have internet access or a smartphone should call NHS 111 for urgent free health advice, 24 hours a day. You can also seek advice from pharmacists and take advantage the walk-in centres and minor injury units which are open most days.
Leave Accident and Emergency departments for those with serious or life-threatening conditions such as heart attacks, suspected strokes and serious wounds and burns.
A well-stocked medicine cabinet should include:
• Painkillers (paracetamol and ibuprofen – including child versions if you have children under 12)
• Plasters, bandages and sticking tape
• Antiseptic cream
• Rehydration salts
• Indigestion treatments
• Antihistamines (such as hay fever tablets and insect bite creams).
Minor injuries and walk-in centres
Trained nurses at minor injury units (MIUs) can assess and treat cuts, sprains, minor burns, minor dislocations of the fingers and toes, minor eye injuries and remove foreign bodies from, for example, ears and noses. MIUs cannot treat babies under a year old. MIUs are open every day of the year. GP-led walk-in centres can often see you without an appointment.
Medway GP Walk-in Centre, 447-553 Canterbury Street, Gillingham, Kent ME7 5LF. Tel 01634 575232. 8am – 8pm.
For emergency dental care, contact your own dentist first. At evenings, weekends and bank holidays (8.30am to 1.25pm) you can call DentaLine on 01634 890300.
Mental health support
Free confidential emotional advice and guidance is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from the Mental Health Matters helpline on 0800 107 0160. The Samaritans are on 08457 909090.
The below pharmacies will be open on Bank Holiday Monday. Pharmacists can provide advice on many common illnesses and advice on medication.
- Asda, 387 Maidstone Road, Chatham, ME5 9SE. 01634 663010. 8am – 8pm.
- Boots the Chemists, 30-34 Wilmot Street, Pentagon Centre, Chatham, ME4 4BB. 01634 405471. 10am – 4pm.