WITH Easter just around the corner, local Doctors are urging residents to think before visiting the emergency department if they feel unwell over the four day weekend.
As many prepare to tackle the garden, dabble in DIY, celebrate with friends and family, or just eat as many chocolate eggs as they can over Easter, residents are being reminded that A&E is for serious and life-threatening illnesses only. Alternative health services will be available locally over the Easter holidays.
In a joint statement, Dr Tony Naughton, clinical chief officer of NHS Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Dr Amanda Doyle, chief clinical officer of NHS Blackpool CCG and Mark O’Donnell, medical director of Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Easter is a busy time for A&E departments and after the unprecedented pressures on the NHS we saw nationwide over Christmas we need to make sure we are fully prepared for Easter.
“There are other health services across the Fylde coast that can provide quicker and more appropriate treatment if you have a minor injury or ailment. Using the right health service for your needs can prevent you waiting many hours in A&E, ensure you receive more appropriate treatment more quickly and free up emergency staff to help those patients with the most serious conditions.
“If your GP surgery is closed, A&E isn’t the only option as calling free NHS number 111 or visiting the NHS Choices website can help you to find the right service. You can also visit your local pharmacy or the Walk-In Centre in Blackpool or the Same-Day Health Centre in Fleetwood.
“People should also plan ahead and make sure they have enough medicines to see them through the Easter holidays.”
Anybody who does become unwell over Easter and urgently needs advice or medical treatment, but the situation is not life-threatening should call NHS 111. A fully trained assessor will listen to your symptoms, provide advice and if needed, direct you to the local service that can best meet your needs. The helpline is completely free of charge and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The NHS Walk-In Centre on Whitegate Drive, Blackpool, will be open 8am-8pm every day over the Easter bank holiday weekend with extra provision to help deal with the expected demand. A wide range of minor injuries and illnesses are treated at the Walk-In Centre.
The Same-Day Health Centre on Dock Street, Fleetwood, will also be open throughout the Easter bank holiday, 8am – 10pm every day. Appointments are required and can be made by calling 0300 123 1144.
Many minor illnesses, ailments and injuries can be treated at home. Coughs, colds, sore throats, upset stomachs and aches and pains can be treated with a well-stocked medicine cabinet and plenty of rest.
If you are unsure on how to treat an illness or injury your local pharmacy can also provide free confidential expert advice and treatment for a variety of common complaints.
Many pharmacies will be operating under reduced opening hours over the Easter weekend. A full list of opening times for Fylde coast pharmacies can be found at www.whyande.nhs.uk/easter