Staying healthy over the Bank Holiday weekend

HEALTH chiefs are appealing for people to help them ensure health services run efficiently over the May bank holiday weekend by planning ahead and choosing the correct route for treatment should it be needed.

Dr Rob Gerlis, chairman of West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Bank holidays always place added pressure on health services but with a little forward planning and information on everyone’s part, we can make sure people continue to receive prompt and effective treatment should they require it.

“A few common sense precautions should be followed to minimise the chances of you and your family suffering bank holiday health blues.

“These include being prepared for minor health problems by keeping a well-stocked medicines cupboard that contains paracetamol, ibuprofen, indigestion remedies, cough mixture, mild laxatives and other medication that your family needs.

“Patients with repeat prescriptions should make sure they have enough medication to see them through the holiday period.”

Should people need treatment, here are their options:

• Ask your local pharmacist for advice on minor illness. They can provide expert advice and simple treatments. For pharmacy opening times, check (locally opening times are: early May Bank Holiday – Monday May 6: Boots, Market Place, Saffron Walden from 11am-12noon; Spring Bank Holiday – Monday May 27: Co-operative Pharmacy, 3 The Arches, Hill Street, Saffron Walden, from 11am-12noon)

Most Read

• Call NHS Direct 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 0845 4647. Their specialist nurses can provide clinical assessment and advice.

• Call your GP surgery or out of hours service, for out of hours call your surgery and you will be redirected or provided with a contact number.

• The Emergency Dental Line 0845 070 1612 (available weekends and bank holidays between 10am–2pm).

• On the web all local NHS services can be found via

Local GP doctors’ surgeries will be open for their usual Saturday hours (where applicable) providing their normal range of services and closed on the Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday.

The A&E department at Princes Alexandra Hospital should only be used for critical or life-threatening situations requiring medical attention, such as loss of consciousness, heavy blood loss, suspected broken bones, persistent chest pain, difficulty breathing, overdoses, ingestion or poisoning.