Don’t waste your bank holiday at the Emergency Department
No one wants to spend their precious free time waiting in the Emergency Department, yet bank holidays every year see a surge of people visiting the hospital with minor illnesses and injuries.
As the final bank holiday of the year approaches, NHS Kernow’s Dr Andy Haywood is encouraging people to plan ahead for the long weekend to help keep the Emergency Department free for serious and life-threatening conditions.
He said: “The Emergency Department is a highly specialised place for patients who need urgent medical attention and potentially life-saving care. We need to make sure it’s kept free for the people who need it the most.
“We can all help by making sure we plan in advance. Anyone who takes regular medication should check they have enough to see them through the holiday, or arrange a prescription before the weekend.”
Making sure you also have a well-stocked medicine cabinet with aspirin, plasters and creams for sunburn and insect bites will also help you care for yourself and your loved ones at home.
Dr Haywood added: “While some GP surgeries will be open during the Bank Holiday weekend, you can look after yourself by ensuring you have essentials such as paracetamol or aspirin, plasters and remedies for upset stomachs at home.
“Pharmacists can also provide excellent advice and over-the-counter medicines for a range of conditions, as well as providing urgent repeat prescriptions and contraceptives. You can text the word Pharmacy to 64746 to receive three free texts with the name, address and telephone number of your nearest three chemists.”
When GP practices are closed, there are GPs and other urgent care practitioners available in bookable out-of-hours clinics and for home visits. Phone the out-of-hours service on 0845 2000 227 or 01720 422628 from the Isles of Scilly. Urgent diagnosis and treatment of cuts, bruises, minor infections, strains and stomach upsets can also be provided at the GP-led Walk-in Centre at Cardrew Industrial Estate in Redruth, which is open from 8am to 8pm with no need to book. Round-the-clock care is also available at West Cornwall Hospital Urgent Care Centre, in Penzance. Phone 01736 874000. If you feel unwell, and you are not sure what service you need, visit www.nhs.uk or phone NHS Direct on 0845 4647 for expert health advice, 24 hours a day.
Information about all these services can be found at www.kernowccg.nhs.uk/choosebetter. You can also find details of all Minor Injuries Units and pharmacy opening times, plus details of how to access the emergency dental team.
Minor Injury Units are at:
Bodmin Community Hospital (01208 251577) – 8am to 10pm every day
Camborne and Redruth Community Hospital (01209 881650) – 8am to 10pm every day
Falmouth Hospital (01326 434739) – 8am to 8pm every day
Fowey Community Hospital (01726 832241) – 8am to 10pm every day
Helston Community Hospital (01326 435815) – 8am to 8pm every day
Launceston Community Hospital (01566 765653) – 8am to 10pm every day
Liskeard Community Hospital (01579 335278) – 8am to 10pm every day
Newquay Hospital (01637 834820) – 8am to 10pm every day and open 24-hours on Fridays and Saturdays during July and August
St Austell Community Hospital (01726 291199) – 8am to 10pm every day
Saltash, St Barnabas Hospital (01752 857400) – 8am to 10pm every day
St Mary’s Community Hospital (01720 422392) – 24-hours every day
Stratton Community Hospital (01288 287713) – 24-hours every day
Stennack Surgery, St Ives (01736 793333) – 8am to 8pm, Mon-to-Friday and during summer holidays only on Saturdays and Sundays 8am to 8pm
You can keep updated with NHS Kernow and have your say at www.kernowccg.nhs.uk and follow @nhskernow on Twitter and Facebook.