Paramedics and doctors urging Essex to only call 999 if in an emergency this bank holiday weekend


Ambulance - Credit: Archant

Residents in Essex are being urged to take extra care to avoid medical emergencies during the bank holiday weekend.

Last year’s August bank holiday saw the East of England Ambulance Service receive 10,406 999 calls, 3,163 of which from Essex, and responsed to 8,164 of the calls.

Marcus Bailey, consultant paramedic, said: “We are prepared for the bank holiday weekend, but would urge people to take steps to avoid a call to the ambulance service.

“When people are out and about this weekend, remember to keep hydrated and cover up if you are out in the sun and ensure your first aid kit is up to date with over-the-counter pain killers, after-sun, plasters and antihistamines.

“We would also like to remind people about alternatives to 999 if they have minor ailments by calling the non-emergency 111 helpline, visiting an out-of-hours GP, walk-in centre or pharmacy.”

Dr Rob Gerlis, Harlow GP and chair of NHS West Essex CCG, added: “Your pharmacist can help you manage your illness at home over the bank holiday weekend which means you may not need a GP appointment. If you’ve had help or advice from a pharmacist recently, visit our website to nominate them in just minutes for the Best of West Awards which celebrate the people keeping west Essex well.

”If you need medical help fast but it’s not an emergency, call NHS 111 for free, 24 hours a day. It’s important to remember A&E is not and never has been for non-urgent treatment.”

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In Dunmow, Ropers, in High Street, will be open on Monday, August 31, from 11am to midday and in Saffron Walden, Boots Pharmacy is open from 10am to 4pm.

Parents, carers and grandparents can also find advice on what to look for and what to do if your child is unwell in our free childhood illnesses guide available to download now on the CCG website at