GP practices will be open on Good Friday (10 April) and Easter Monday (April 13) to ease the pressure on the NHS.Advertisement
Doctors surgeries usually close for the Bank Holidays, but will remain open for patients in Preston and South Ribble over the Easter break.
Pharmacies will also continue to be open over the bank holidays – people should contact them directly to check on their exact opening times.
Dr Amanda Doyle OBE, GP and Chief Clinical Officer for Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care System, said: “We know that this is a really difficult time for everyone, particularly for those with ongoing health conditions. It’s important that people know that their GPs are there to support them over the bank holiday weekend this year.
“During the next few months people will continue to need help with lots of different health problems that aren’t to do with coronavirus. If you need advice or care from your GP practice, then please get in touch by phone first – please don’t visit the practice without speaking to them first.
“We might be able to give you advice over the phone or using a video conferencing system, but if your GP or nurse decides that you do need to see someone face to face, they will still arrange an appointment for you – either at your own practice, or another one near to where you live.”
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She adds, “Don’t forget that you can also do lots of things online, like ordering repeat prescriptions. If you don’t yet have GP online services but would like to use them, visit your GP practice website for more details about how to set this up.”
Anyone with coronavirus symptoms – a high temperature or a new, continuous cough – who needs medical advice, should use the dedicated NHS 111 coronavirus service online at https://www.111.nhs.uk/COVID-19. You should only call NHS 111 if you can’t get help online, as their phone lines are very busy at this time.
If people have a routine appointment booked with either your GP practice or another health service at either a hospital or health centre, they should speak to them before attending, to check if it is still going ahead.
There’s also a reminder that for any urgent medical help over the bank holidays, you can visit www.111.nhs.uk, or call 111 if you don’t have online access, 24 hours a day.
When someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk, people should call 999 immediately, just as they normally would – especially if they think that they or someone else is having a heart attack or stroke – every second counts with these conditions.