Health chiefs urge people to use right services at Easter

Chris Gray, medical director for NHS England Cumbria and the North East.
Chris Gray, medical director for NHS England Cumbria and the North East.
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Residents are being encouraged to use the right medical provision this Easter.

In a bid to ease any pressures on A&E servicers over the bank holiday weekend, the NHS is asking people with non-emergency health issues to call 111, make a GP appointment or visit a local pharmacy.

Officials say it will mean people receive the most appropriate advice and care much quicker.

And the NHS has been working to ensure people across the region will be able to access a GP appointment or pharmacist should they need one.

Chris Gray, medical director for NHS England Cumbria and the North East, said: “If people have a non-emergency health problem over the Easter weekend, they should please call 111 to make an appointment with a GP.

“By doing this, they will receive the most appropriate care and advice and, in most cases, will be seen quicker than if they go to an A&E department.

“Pharmacists can also provide instant, confidential advice and treatment for minor illnesses, without the need to make an appointment.

“This is a plea for people to use our NHS services responsibly to make sure that NHS staff, who work incredibly hard around the clock, can provide appropriate care to patients.

“Our A&E departments can get extremely busy over bank holidays and we want to ensure that patients who really need emergency care receive the quickest possible treatment they need, and that people who can be cared for elsewhere are not waiting in accident and emergency departments.”

Advice for parents is also available on the free NHS child health app, which can be downloaded from Google Play or Apple’s App Store, search for NHS child health.

To find out which urgent care and walk-in centres will be open, call 111.

For local pharmacy opening hours, over the Easter period, visit www.urgentoremergency.co.uk/gp-opening-times

People can access information via The NHS Choices website www.nhs.uk