Get set for summer - health help during bank holidays

Summer is here, so as we prepare for weekends away and summer day trips, take a minute to get to know what health help is available nearby. You can use the free Health Help Now app to see opening times for pharmacies and get advice for common summer health complaints.

Paula Wilkins, Chief Nurse for the CCG, says: “It’s important people know where to go for advice during evenings, weekends and bank holidays. Going to the right place for minor ailments such as your local pharmacy, or being prepared to treat mild symptoms at home is usually more convenient and helps our local NHS too. Making sure you have a cabinet stocked with home health essentials is the first step. Make sure you follow the instructions and dosages on medicines and never use out of date medicine.”

Home health kit guide

  • Painkillers (paracetamol and ibuprofen – including infant/child versions if you have young children)
  • Antihistamines – for minor allergies and hay fever in children and adults
  • Sun block
  • After sun
  • Rehydration salts
  • Throat pastilles
  • Digital thermometer
  • Plasters, bandages and sticking tape
  • Antiseptic lotion, cream or spray
  • Anti-diarrhoea tablets
  • Indigestion treatments

“We should all have basic over the counter medicines at hand for when we need them,” she said. “Make sure you have enough of your regular prescription medicine too. Get your repeat prescription early to make sure you don’t run out over holiday times.”

Other advice includes downloading the Health Help Now app. It can guide you to the best service for your symptoms, and tell you the nearest NHS services that are open during evenings, weekends and bank holidays, including pharmacies.

If you don’t have internet access or a smartphone, and need health help when it’s not an emergency, NHS 111 can give you free health advice, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Just dial 111.

The pharmacy can be the first port of call for many people who feel unwell.

Paula added: “Your local pharmacist is a medicines expert who can advise on the best way to treat colds, coughs, sore throats, hay fever, verrucas, digestive problems and more, and you probably won’t need a prescription as many over-the-counter medicines are readily available for these conditions.”