With the Easter weekend days away, the NHS is encouraging residents to plan ahead and choose the right health services during the holiday period, as emergency care services tackle an unprecedented demand.
NHS services and local partners across Birmingham and Solihull are working together to help emergency services reduce delays.
Ahead of the Easter weekend, the NHS is asking residents who require repeat prescriptions to contact their GP practice, visit their practice website or use the NHS app and order only what they need before Friday, ensuring they collect their prescription in good time.
The Easter weekend will see GP practices and some pharmacies either closed or operating with reduced opening hours on Good Friday (15 April), Easter Sunday (17 April) and Easter Monday (18 April). You can find pharmacy opening hours over the Easter weekend here.
Residents can also support the NHS over the Easter weekend by thinking about the most appropriate service for them before they seek help.
For minor health concerns, such as rashes and aches, your local pharmacist can provide expert advice and over-the-counter medicines.
Your pharmacy or local supermarket can also help you prepare for self-care, by providing medicines and supplies, such as paracetamol and antihistamine, for your first-aid kit. A helpful guide to what you should have at home is available on the NHS website.
For urgent health concerns, instead of going to A&E, call 111 or visit 111.nhs.uk. 111 is available 24 hours a day, and will provide the advice you need.
Dr Richard Mendelsohn, Chief Medical Officer at NHS Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “For healthcare staff across Birmingham and Solihull, our priority remains ensuring our patients get the advice and care they need, especially those facing life-threatening emergencies.
“Ahead of the Easter weekend, our emergency services are experiencing an unprecedented demand and we need our residents to plan ahead to stay well, such as ensuring they have ordered and collected any repeat prescriptions before the holiday.
“If someone is ill over the Easter weekend, the NHS is here for them, but we’re asking the public to think carefully about which service can help them, as A&E and 999 are there for the most serious and life-threatening emergencies.
“Whereas, your local pharmacy can provide support for minor health conditions, and you can turn to 111 for urgent health issues.
“111 advisors can ensure patients receive the right care from the right service, whether that’s an out-of-hours GP or calling an ambulance.”