By taking a little care of yourself over the Bank Holiday, you can make sure you stay well and avoid any unnecessary trips to hospital.
The emergency and urgent care system comes under increasing pressure in the run up to and over holiday times, and local doctors at Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are urging local people to take some basic steps to keep themselves well.
Solihull CCG Chair and Clinical Lead Dr Anand Chitnis, a GP at Castle Practice in Castle Bromwich, urged the public to follow this advice over the Bank Holiday:
- Stock-up your medicine cabinet and order repeat prescriptions in advance of the Bank Holiday.
- Prevent bites by covering up and applying insect repellent. Take care especially in the late afternoon and early evening, as insects become more active as the temperature cools. If you are bitten, consult your pharmacist for advice.
- Solihull has a high incidence of skin cancers due to excessive sun exposure. High temperatures can cause dehydration, heat exhaustion or heatstroke, and hot sun can cause sunstroke or sunburn. Babies, young children, older people and people with certain medical conditions such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or heart conditions can be adversely affected by heat. Stay safe by covering up and using high factor sunscreen. Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
- Take advantage of the extra time off and good weather to do something active such as walking or cycling, or look up the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust’s activities this Bank Holiday.
- Pharmacists can advise on the best treatment or medication following any aches and sprains.
- Don’t over-indulge – enjoy healthier snacks, salads and moderate your intake of alcohol and sugary drinks. Remember that water is good for you too.
- Check on friends or neighbours, particularly anyone with a long-term health condition or who is elderly. They may be more vulnerable in hot weather, and lonely over the Bank Holiday so why not check if they need anything and spend a bit of time with them?
GP practices will be closed on the Bank Holiday Monday (31 August) so patients who urgently need advice may consider the following alternatives:
- Call NHS 111 for advice and signposting on what the best treatment is and where to go for it.
- Visit a pharmacy for expert advice and treatment for minor ailments.
If you call your GP practice when it is closed, often a recorded message will advise the contacts for out-of-hours support. Practices will be open again as normal from Tuesday 1 September.