As we approach the August bank holiday, people are being reminded to know all healthcare options available to them to help get the best treatment and reduce strain on the local NHS.
Monday August 31 is a bank holiday and in order to ensure the Emergency Department (ED) at Queen Alexandra Hospital is able to see and treat those who urgently need it, there is a whole range of health options available to you may be seen more appropriately and quickly.
The ED offers emergency assessment and treatment to patients with serious injuries or illnesses. Generally, you should only visit ED or call 999 for life-threatening emergencies, such as, loss of consciousness, and fits that are not stopping, persistent, severe chest pain, breathing difficulties or severe bleeding that cannot be stopped.
Attending for any other reason potentially puts an unnecessary strain on the ED and delays you from getting the help and treatment you may need.
For other ailments such as sun burn, small cuts, insect bites, upset tummy, vomiting and diarrhoea, your GP practice, local pharmacy, or the minor injuries units at Petersfield Hospital, St Mary’s Hospital and Gosport War Memorial Hospital can provide you with the right support.
People are also reminded that every patient in the Portsmouth south east Hampshire area who contacts NHS 111 via a phone is assessed by a health advisor who provides advice or directs them to the most appropriate setting for their needs.
If the patient is advised to attend the ED at QA but their condition is not assessed as being a medical emergency, NHS 111 offers to book them a time slot to attend.
Dr David Chilvers, GP and clinical chair of Fareham and Gosport NHS Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “There is plenty of support for people who need health help over the bank holiday weekend.
“By calling NHS 111 and only attending the hospital with a booked appointment you will be helping us to keep our patients safe, reducing the risk of transmission of covid-19 in the emergency department and it will help you to access the right clinical service the first time.”
People should also ensure they have ordered any repeat prescriptions they need to see them through the long weekend.
Dr Chilvers added: “While we are all working differently to support the NHS respond to coronavirus, there is support available for the August bank holiday.
“We want to remind people to order any repeat medicines they need to cover them over the bank holiday weekend and the period straight afterwards.
“GP services are still here for you, we are just doing things a little differently in order to protect both our patients and staff from coronavirus. Please call your practice or visit the website to order your repeat prescriptions.
“If appropriate patients can directly contact their pharmacist for their prescriptions.
“Many pharmacies will be open on the bank holiday Monday, but they may change their opening hours, so it’s really important to check their times before heading out.
“If you find yourself in need of medical treatment or advice, pharmacies do much more than simply issue repeat prescriptions. It is a great first option for quick, helpful advice. Your pharmacist can recommend over-the-counter treatments or direct you to a more suitable clinical professional if necessary.”
To find out which pharmacies are open on bank holiday Monday visit https://www.england.nhs.uk/south-east/our-work/pharmacy-opening-hours/
Opening hours can change so it’s best to call the pharmacy ahead of making your journey.
As well as pharmacies, people can also visit 111.nhs.uk or call NHS 111 for physical and mental health support.
Additional local service information
Urgent Treatment Centres and Minor Injuries Units
Urgent treatment centres (UTCs) and minor injuries units (MIUs) can help with a number of conditions including those below but you are advised to call ahead before attending.
Portsmouth – St Mary’s Urgent Treatment Centre on the St Mary’s Community Health Campus, Milton (0333 200 1822) – 7.30am - 10pm weekdays and 8am - 10pm weekends and bank holidays. Visit https://www.stmarystreatmentcentre.nhs.uk/utc for details.
Petersfield Community Hospital Minor Injuries Unit (023 82 310595) – open seven days a week from 8am to 5.45pm https://www.southernhealth.nhs.uk/services/minor-injuries-units.
Gosport War Memorial Hospital Minor Injuries Unit (023 92 794753) - open seven days a week from 8am to 11.15pm https://www.porthosp.nhs.uk/departments-and-services/gosport-minor-injuries-unit/96458.