Patients are being urged to make sure they know where to go for medical help and advice ahead of the long Easter weekend.
With GP surgeries closed on Good Friday (2 April) and Easter Monday (5 April), it’s important that patients across Birmingham and Solihull know their options.
For any urgent health concerns, patients should think 111 first. Anyone can call NHS 111 or visit 111.nhs.uk and trained advisers will be able to offer advice, direct to the most appropriate service such a walk-in or urgent care centre or book a timeslot at A&E if needed.
Dr Rizwan Alidina, a local GP and member of NHS Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group’s Governing Body, said: “There are lots of options available to patients this Easter weekend to ensure they receive the right help when they need it.
“If you have over-the-counter medicines in your medicine cabinet, you should be able to treat common health issues such as colds, coughs, sore throats and headaches at home, or you could speak to your local pharmacist for advice.
“If you are not sure where to go, then you can always call NHS 111 or visit 111.nhs.uk online 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”
Some of the 300 pharmacies across Birmingham and Solihull will also be open to offer advice and guidance on medicines and minor illnesses, and to help signpost to further help if needed. Patients can find their nearest open pharmacy by visiting www.nhs.uk.
Some GP practices may also be offering extended access appointments, or patients can call their practice as normal to hear what local arrangements there may be for out of hours care.
If a patient required urgent dental care on weekends or any Bank Holiday, they will need to contact 111. Out of hours providers are available via this route and can help where appropriate. It’s important anyone with urgent dental care needs who already has a dentist contacts their usual practice during normal hours if possible.