People across the North East
are being asked to help ease the pressure on NHS accident and
emergency services over the Easter bank holiday weekend.
To help ease the pressure at a
very busy time of year for A&E departments, the NHS is asking
people with non-emergency health issues to call 111 to make a GP
appointment or to visit a local pharmacy. In most cases, this
will mean they receive the most appropriate advice and care much
Although some GP practices and
pharmacies are closed over Easter, the NHS has been working to
ensure people across the region will be able to access a GP
appointment or pharmacist should they need one.
Chris Gray, medical director
for NHS England Cumbria and the North East, said:
"If people have a
non-emergency health problem over the Easter weekend, they should
please call 111 to make an appointment with a GP. By doing this,
they will receive the most appropriate care and advice and, in most
cases, will be seen quicker than if they go to an A&E
"Pharmacists can also provide
instant, confidential advice and treatment for minor illnesses,
without the need to make an appointment.
"This is a plea for people to
use our NHS services responsibly to make sure that NHS staff, who
work incredibly hard around the clock, can provide appropriate care
"Our A&E departments can
get extremely busy over bank holidays and we want to ensure that
patients who really need emergency care receive the quickest
possible treatment they need, and that people who can be cared for
elsewhere are not waiting in accident and emergency
Advice for parents is also
available on the free NHS child health app. The app has been
developed by doctors, health visitors and pharmacists and can be
downloaded from Google Play or Apple's App Store, search NHS child
People are also being asked to
make sure that their medicine cabinet and first aid kits are well
stocked before Easter arrives and that repeat prescriptions are
collected well before the bank holiday weekend.
Many urgent care and walk-in
centres will also be open. To find out which services are open and
at what times, call 111.
For local pharmacy opening
hours, over the Easter period, people should log onto
People can access information
about walk-in centres, urgent care centres or minor injuries units
by logging onto The NHS Choices website www.nhs.uk. They can type in their postcode on
the website to find their nearest services.
'Every aspect of my emergency care was dealt with quickly,
efficiently and professionally with full explanations and
compassion from all staff involved'.
Patient, Emergency Department, Darlington Memorial Hospital