Paul Cook, GP and NHS Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group chairman, said: “The actions people have taken over the past week has meant health and care services have been able to help those most in need of care. However, we are concerned that as we head towards a long bank holiday weekend about services being even busier.
“We support Visit Cornwall’s appeal to the nation to not visit Cornwall this weekend unless they already have a booked their holiday.
“If you are visiting our beautiful county please pack health essentials in their suitcase, including regular medication, before they set off, and to call your own GP, or use NHS 111 if you become unwell and need help for a condition that’s not life threatening.”
We’re asking everyone to help us this weekend by:
- Prepare for your holiday or day out. Pack first aid supplies like paracetamol, plasters, insect repellent and antihistamines to treat hay fever and insect bites.
- Make sure you have enough regular medication and don’t leave repeat prescription requests until you have run out. Talk to a pharmacist to arrange an urgent medication supply if you do run out.
- Make use of pharmacies. Pharmacists are working during the bank holiday weekend and can give you expert, confidential advice and over-the-counter remedies for minor injuries as well as water infections, insect bites, sticky red eyes and rashes. Check pharmacy opening times for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. You don’t need to make an appointment to see a pharmacist.
- Call your own GP even if you’re on holiday. Most consultations can be dealt by a phone or video call, saving you a trip, and keeping our surgeries safe. You will always be asked to come in if a GP or nurse needs to examine you. You may need to wait for an appointment due to the demand.
- Do not visit the emergency department unless you have a serious or life-threatening condition such as a stroke, breathing difficulties, or a heart attack.
- Use NHS 111 if you need medical help, or think you need to visit a minor injury unit.
- Parents can download the free NHS HandiApp for advice about common childhood conditions. Most fevers, and coughs can be treated with Calpol, drinking water, and will improve within a week. Call your GP or 111 if your child does not get better, or their condition worsens.
- Only call 999 if you have a genuine, life-threatening emergency such as serious illness or injury, major blood loss, chest pain or loss of consciousness. If you call for an ambulance, do not call back for an arrival time.
- Help us by taking your relatives home when they are ready for discharge from hospital. Financial support is available in the form of a one-off discharge grant for people who are ready to leave hospital but need a bit of extra care and support to return home
- Grab a jab! Please help us to keep infection rates low by getting vaccinated. The coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines are safe and effective. They give you the best protection against COVID-19 and are available for everyone aged 16 or over. Call 119 or visit nhs.uk to book your appointment, or visit one of our walk-in centres.
Cornwall now has the highest rates of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country, and is having an impact on our NHS and care services in a way that we didn’t experience during the first wave of the pandemic.
Dr Cook added: “The best way to protect yourself, your family and friends, and our community is to get vaccinated. The vaccine is safe and effective, and is available to everyone aged 16 and older. Attend a walk-in clinic or book an appointment at nhs.uk or calling 119.”
Walk-in clinics are taking place at:
- Stithians and Wadebridge: Royal Cornwall Showground and Stithians Showground mass vaccination centres. Monday to Saturday, 9am and 6pm, and Sundays, midday to 6pm. First dose Pfizer vaccines for people aged 16 or older.
- Penzance: Friday 27 August 2021, 5.30pm to 8.30pm. St Clare Medical Centre, St Clare Street, Penzance TR18 3DX. First doses for people 16 or older. Second doses are available to adults 18 or older who had their first dose 8 weeks before.
- Newquay: Friday 27 August, midday to 6pm, Saturday 28 August, 10am to 7pm, and Sunday 29 August, midday to 6pm. Cornwall Pride, Killacourt, Newquay TR7 1DT. First doses for people 16 or older. Second doses available to adults 18 or older who had their first dose 8 weeks before.
The NHS would also like to remind everyone not to visit our hospitals, GP surgeries, care homes, or pharmacies if you have any symptoms of COVID-19, even if you have been vaccinated.
Symptoms include a persistent cough; headache; runny nose; sneezing; sore throat; loss of smell.
If you do have symptoms, or have come in contact with someone who has tested positive, please stay at home, and take a test, which can be ordered online at gov.uk
Remember to keep a safe distance from other people, and wear a face covering in public spaces, and to keep washing hands regularly.