People are being asked to check their medication supplies and to visit NHS 111 online first for health advice over what is expected to be a busy period for NHS services over the Easter bank holiday (7-10 April) and until the end of junior doctor strike action (11-14 April).
The call comes from Bradford District and Craven Health and Care Partnership – made up of local NHS organisations, local councils, independent care organisations and the voluntary and community sector – that serves a population of around 650,000 people.
Helen Farmer, Director for Access to Care at Bradford District and Craven Health and Care Partnership, said:
As Easter approaches, we’re asking everyone in the area to ensure they’re prepared for their medical needs.
We want you to stay happy, healthy at home and by using services such as NHS 111 online – as well as getting your COVID-19 and flu vaccinations, keeping active, and having a well-stocked medicine cabinet at home – help avoid a visit to your local A&E.
Remember to order in advance any repeat prescriptions you may need to last over the bank holidays via your GP practice or using the NHS App that also allows you to change your nominated pharmacy. Some pharmacies may also be open on the bank holiday so check online to find the closest one to you.
Health advice and information is available from NHS 111, which is free and can be accessed by phone or online. It can tell you where and how to get help for your symptoms and arrange a telephone call with a healthcare professional if appropriate. You can also use the NHS website to find an open pharmacy near you.
People are being encouraged to have a small stock of basic medicines in case needed for minor illnesses or injuries and are advised to ask local pharmacists for advice on what medicines to keep at home.
Emotional support is also available over this period through Guide-Line between 8am and 12am on 08001 884 884 or the Healthy Minds website to get help. For 24/7 urgent mental health crisis support, people should contact First Response on 08009521181.
Junior doctors in England will go on strike from Tuesday, 11 April until Saturday, 15 April. NHS teams continue to work hard to minimise disruption from the industrial action, but it is expected that there will be a significant impact on local health services.
Regardless of any strike action, the NHS is advising on the importance of anyone who needs urgent medical care to continue to come forward in the normal way – calling 999 or going to your nearest Accident and Emergency (A&E) department, especially in emergency and life-threatening cases – when someone is seriously ill or injured, or their life is at risk. People should continue to also attend planned appointments unless they are contacted.