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Be prepared this Easter

User AvatarPosted by Daniel Harper at 20/03/2018 16:14:16

Doctors in east Kent are asking patients to urgently check that they have the medication they need ahead of the Easter break.

People with asthma, diabetes and/or any other long-term health condition who have regular medication should make sure they have enough to last the bank holiday weekend. And anyone who is going away on holiday should make sure they take their medication with them.

The long weekend can be one of the busiest times of the year for the NHS, but with a few simple steps people can avoid an unnecessary trip to A&E or running out of vital medication.

Dr Tony Martin, Clinical Chair of NHS Thanet Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: "GP surgeries will be closed on Good Friday and Easter Monday so we're urging people who take regular medication to check they have got enough to last until at least the week after Easter. There’s no need to order large amounts of medicine, just check ahead so that you are not left in the lurch.

“If you do run out of medicine when your GP practice is closed, then check with your local pharmacy. Pharmacists can offer help and advice on many illnesses, such as colds or fever, which can be safely treated at home without the need to see a doctor.

“They can also sell a range of medication – often at lower cost than a prescription – which will save both patients and the NHS money.

“There are local pharmacies open on Good Friday, Saturday as usual, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday and, to find them, people can use Health Help Now which is available on the web at www.healthhelpnow.nhs.uk or it can be downloaded from the Google Play and the App Store.

“Please make sure your medicine cabinet is well stocked too – no one wants to spend the holidays driving around in search of paracetamol, plasters or children’s medicine.”

Now is a good time to register for online GP services at your local practice. Ask the receptionist for more details on which services are available and how to register.

Finding the right treatment

People who become ill and are not sure where to go should call NHS 111 or use the website and phone app, Health Help Now. This was launched by the NHS in Kent and Medway to help people find the right treatment for health problems, especially when they are not sure what to do or who to contact. It has been used more than 330,000 times.

It has lots of local information and can guide you to the service that will be best able to deal with your symptoms, including helplines. It also shows when services, such as pharmacies are open or closed – which is invaluable on bank holidays, evenings and weekends.

The downloadable version features a health wallet, where users can make notes about symptoms or questions they may need to ask a GP, keep a list of health appointments and contacts, save favourite pages from Health Help Now and view other useful apps, including information about waiting times at minor injury units and A&Es in east Kent.

If you don’t have internet access or a smartphone, phone 111 for urgent health advice 24 hours a day.

Medicine cabinet

A well-stocked medicine cabinet is important and should include: 
• Painkillers (paracetamol and ibuprofen – including child versions if you have children under 12) 
• Thermometer 
• Plasters, bandages and sticking tape 
• Antiseptic cream 
• Sunscreen 
• Rehydration treatment to help with the loss of fluid and electrolytes due to diarrhoea 
• Indigestion treatments 
• Antihistamines (such as hay fever tablets and insect bite creams).

If you have a minor injury

There are seven minor injury units in east Kent which can treat a number of conditions. Patients are often seen much quicker at an MIU than an A&E department.

Canterbury

  • Kent and Canterbury Hospital, Ethelbert Road, CT1 3NG Tel: 01227 864244
  • Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • X-ray - Mon – Fri: 8am to 8pm, Sat & Sun: 8am to 4pm

 

Deal

  • Victoria Hospital Minor Injury Unit, London Road CT14 9UA Tel: 01304 865420
  • Open daily, 8am to 8pm
  • X-ray - Mon – Fri: 9am to 4.45pm

 

Dover

  • Buckland Hospital, Coombe Valley Road CT17 0HD Tel: 01304 222621
  • Open daily, 8am to 8pm
  • X-ray -  Mon – Fri: 9am to 4.45pm

 

Herne Bay

  • Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital, King Edward Avenue CT6 6EB Tel: 01227 594700
  • Open daily, 8am to 8pm
  • X-ray, phone for times

 

Faversham

  • Faversham Health Centre, Bank Street ME13 8QR Tel: 01795 562005
  • Open daily, 8am to 8pm
  • X-ray - Mon – Fri: 10am to 4pm

 

Folkestone

  • Royal Victoria Hospital, Radnor Park Avenue CT19 5BN Tel: 01303 852727
  • Open daily, 8am to 8pm
  • No X-ray

 

Whitstable

  • Estuary View Medical Centre, Boorman Way CT5 3SE (Sat nav: CT5 3RL) Tel: 01227 284300
  • Open daily, 8am to 8pm
  • X-ray – Mon-Sat: 8am to 8pm

 

If you are feeling low

The Mental Health Matters helpline (0800 107 0160) offers confidential emotional support and guidance for people in Kent and Medway 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Helpline staff are trained in counselling, so can provide support over the phone. And they also have details of local and national services if people want more support.

Samaritans provides confidential support for anyone feeling down, depressed or anxious, as well as those who may be feeling despair. Volunteers can be contacted 24/7 on 116 123 (UK), or email jo@samaritans.org or face-to-face; visit www.samaritans.org for details of your local branch.

Live Well Kent can help people improve their mental and physical health and wellbeing. It is a free service for anyone over 17. Visit the website https://livewellkent.org.uk to find lots of information about opportunities in east Kent, including for talking therapies, or phone 0800 567 7699.