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Banking on a healthy holiday weekend

Ahead of The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, fingers are crossed for fair weather this coming holiday weekend. Pause to picture the scene at great British garden parties around the county…
Sausages are sizzling, as your good friend gets a burn on barbeque duty. High pollen levels have hay fever in full swing. The itchy reaction to an insect bite drives you wild. And on-show shoulders turn a painful shade of pink. Not quite what you had in mind? Fear not, with a bit of planning and healthcare know-how, you will enjoy the alternative reality.

When you’re in need of help to look after health concerns there are lots of options. So it’s good to know which of them will be best for your circumstances.

Well-stocked medicine cabinet

First, do not overlook the value of having your own well-stocked medicine cupboard. A basic first aid kit with plasters, bandages, burn cream, bite cream, antihistamine, antiseptic, and paracetamol (including the liquid form for babies and children) is the fuss-free way to ease all sorts.

Local pharmacy

Local pharmacies are a great port of call if you need expert help or advice. Pharmacists are highly skilled and can help with a long list of minor ailments, including eye and skin conditions. A consultation can take place in a private room with no appointment needed. They can share notes back to your GP, or refer you if it’s something more serious.

You should remember to order any repeat medicines well ahead of a public holiday. But if you do run out for any reason, the local pharmacist can issue an emergency supply. For all of your pharmacy needs, the find a pharmacy page on the national NHS website will show your nearest, along with the opening hours.

NHS 111

NHS 111 is available any time of the night or day, by phoning 111 or NHS online. Trained advisors will direct you to the most appropriate care, with a clinician on hand if needed.

Mental health

For mental health concerns, there is a helpline open 24 hours a day. Call for free on 0800 038 5300.

Your own GP

Your own GP is the best when there’s something worrying you about your health. So, even if you are away from home, you should contact your local surgery. As well as face-to-face when there is a need to be seen in person, there are a range of appointment types these days.

Minor injury unit or urgent treatment centre

If you have a more serious and sudden need, you can visit a minor injury unit or the urgent treatment centre at West Cornwall Hospital in Penzance. Staffed by highly skilled nurses and clinicians, they can treat broken bones, animal and insect bites, cuts and injuries which may need stitching. Some have X-ray facilities. Please make sure you call 111 before you go.

Emergency department or 999

For a life-threatening condition, you should use the emergency department or 999 straight away. This means conditions such as breathing difficulties, suspected heart attack or stroke, and unconsciousness.

Please only use the emergency services for an emergency situation that is life-threatening, so that they are available to those who truly need them.

Recently, Nick Kaye of Hendra’s Pharmacy in Penryn attended a royal reception held at St James’ Palace to mark the work of pharmacists. At the event, Prince Charles praised community pharmacy for being a friendly and reassuring presence, and providing prompt access to advice and treatment.

Nick, who is interim chief executive officer of the Local Pharmaceutical Committee says: “Community pharmacists train for a number of years to gain the knowledge to advise on your health concerns. We are readily available to help you, whether you need an over-the-counter remedy or a more formal consultation in private.

“Pharmacy plays a key role in enabling our healthcare system to flow better. You may ask us for advice on self-care remedies to keep at home, or about something more complex. Always keep the emergency department for life-saving matters. Help us to help you, and in turn help our NHS.

“Community pharmacies are open for you should you need us this bank holiday weekend. Out of hours, the NHS 111 service is available for you round the clock. COVID-19 is still circulating, so please wear a face covering when visiting the pharmacy or any other healthcare setting.”

Visit our help us help you webpages to see details of all services, opening and waiting times.

Added on 30 May 2022, in News - Choose well

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