NHS urges people to prepare for Easter

WITH Easter approaching, NHS West Essex is working to reduce the waiting times for medical treatment by encouraging people to access the correct health services for their needs.

The Trust said a quarter of people who attend A&E could be treated elsewhere, allowing them to be seen more quickly by other health providers and ensuring emergency services are available for urgent, life threatening conditions only.

NHS West Essex director of Nursing and Quality, Denise Hagel, said: “Health services will continue to be provided over the forthcoming Bank Holiday weekends but there is plenty people can do to help themselves and avoid putting potential added pressures on the services during this time.”

The Trust has advised people to keep a well-stocked medicine cabinet at home to help cope with common illnesses, such as colds, flu, indigestion, and headaches, while it said Paracetamol, aspirin or ibuprofen are the most common remedies for pain and fever.

A list of how each service will be affected over the Easter period is below:

• GP practices will be available as normal (8am until 6.30pm), except on the Bank Holidays and weekends. Patients needing to contact a GP outside of the usual opening times should ring their practice, where they will either be redirected or given the number for their out-of-hours provider.

• Dentists will be offering the same service. Anyone requiring urgent dental treatment out-of-hours should ring 0845 070 1612. Usual opening hours can be found on the NHS choices website: nhs.uk/servicedirectories/Pages/ServiceSearch.aspx?ServiceType=Dentist

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• For those who require immediate medical attention, the Urgent Care Centre on the Princess Alexandra Hospital site, Harlow, will be open from 8am until 10pm daily.

• Access to emergency contraception is available via the Urgent Care Centre on 01279 694775 or via the Asda and Addison pharmacies in Harlow.

For all medical advice call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47.