Spotlight

NHS in Somerset asks people to prepare for the August bank holiday

Local health leaders are asking people to prepare for the upcoming bank holiday on Monday 31 August by organising their prescriptions, keeping a well-stocked medicine cabinet and using the most appropriate service for their healthcare needs.

GP surgeries will be closed as normal over the bank holiday weekend and will reopen on Tuesday 1 September.

Dr Alex Murray, a Somerset GP and clinical director at Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group, said:

“While your local GP is closed, there are still lots of healthcare options available for you, including local pharmacies and calling NHS 111 for advice and support to get you to the service that best meets your needs including minor injuries units and emergency services.

If you need medical advice or treatment call NHS 111 or visit the NHS website. You can also find advice and information from your GP practice website which links to a range of online services and, in most cases, you can order repeat prescriptions online. For children’s health advice you can download the HANDi App, available on the APP store.

For injuries which are not life-threatening, you can get help in any of Somerset’s minor injuries units, in Bridgwater, Burnham-on-Sea, Chard, Frome, Minehead, Shepton Mallet and West Mendip Hospital (near Glastonbury) which are also open and will continue to operate as a walk-in service.

Minor injuries units can help with a wide range of conditions including broken bones, throat and chest infections, eye infections, urinary infections, emergency contraception, sprains and strains, as well as wounds and bites.

It’s also important that we are able to see patients with urgent care needs quickly. Please only visit emergency services (A&E) or call 999 in a life-threatening emergency such as:

  • loss of consciousness
  • acute confused state and fits that are not stopping
  • chest pain
  • breathing difficulties
  • severe bleeding that cannot be stopped
  • severe allergic reactions
  • severe burns or scalds
  • stroke
  • major trauma such as a road traffic accident"

If in doubt, call NHS 111 for advice in the first instance. They will be able to assess what level of care you need, including emergency care.

Many community pharmacies will be open on reduced opening hours to support people across Somerset with minor health concerns. Be prepared for common health problems by keeping a well-stocked medicine cabinet at home.

Pharmacists are experts in medicines, as qualified healthcare professionals, they can offer clinical advice and over-the-counter medicines for a range of minor illnesses, such as coughs, colds, sore throats, tummy trouble and aches and pains.

Our 111 call centres can get busy with people calling for emergency prescriptions when they run out; you can help us by making sure that you have enough medication to last over the bank holiday weekend.

Please remember to follow the latest government advice around social distancing over the bank holiday and to wear a mask if you need to visit your local pharmacy.

Further information

Find your nearest pharmacy and its opening times: https://www.nhs.uk/service-search/find-a-pharmacy

For full pharmacy rotas over the bank holiday in the south west see:  https://www.england.nhs.uk/south/info-professional/pharm-info/pharmacy-opening-hours/

See minor injury opening times: https://www.somersetft.nhs.uk/minor-injury-units/