As people gather to celebrate the platinum jubilee this week, the NHS in Leeds is reminding residents that health services, including GP appointments, will be available throughout the bank holiday weekend.
Patients with long-term conditions are being asked to make sure they have enough medicines available to cover the four-day weekend.
"As well as having enough prescribed medication, it’s also important to have a well-stocked medicine cabinet to treat most minor illnesses such as coughs, colds, headaches and diarrhoea at home", a spokesperson said.
If people become unwell or are injured and aren’t sure which service they need, help and advice is available 24 hours a day from NHS 111 online or by phone.
In addition, many community pharmacies will be open throughout the bank holiday, where people can get advice and over the counter medication for common ailments such as aches and pains, coughs, colds, skin rashes and uncomplicated cystitis.
Although most GP practices will be closed, appointments with GPs and other healthcare professionals are still available throughout the bank holiday weekend for those who need them.
Appointments must be pre-booked by calling the usual GP practice number, or by ringing NHS 111 for advice. The appointment may be at a nearby surgery referred to as an extended access hub, rather than the usual surgery.
Medical help is also available at the city’s urgent treatment centres, which are for minor injuries and illnesses that are urgent but not life or limb threatening.
Dr Jason Broch, GP and Clinical Chair at NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group said: “Health services will be available throughout the bank holiday but are likely to be extremely busy, so we’re asking people to plan ahead and to choose the right service if they do become unwell.
“If you take regular medication, you could become unwell if you run out. Please make sure your order and pick up any repeat prescriptions as some GP practices and pharmacies will be closed or have reduced opening hours on the bank holidays.
“To make sure that people who become unwell over the bank holiday weekend can still get medical help, our extended access service will be open as normal. This means people can still see a healthcare professional, normally a GP or a nurse. Even though the appointment might not be with your usual team, the healthcare professional looking after you will have access to your medical records.
“Please only visit hospital emergency departments or call 999 in life-threatening situations such as chest pain, blackouts, severe blood loss that can’t be stopped, a serious injury, or if you think you’re having a stroke. This will help make sure those who most urgently need help can be seen quickly. If you’re not sure which service you need, please contact NHS 111.
“Finally, I’d like to say a special thank you to all our health and care colleagues who will be working throughout the bank holiday weekend to keep the people of Leeds safe and well.”