Patients encouraged to ‘choose the right care at the right time’ over the Easter weekend

NHS Harrogate and Rural District Clinical Commissioning Group says patients who become unwell over the Easter weekend can save time if they choose the right health services.

With most GP practices closed for the four-day Easter weekend which begins with Good Friday on 19 April, local NHS leaders want to make sure people access the most appropriate care, depending on whether they have a minor health complaint, or something more serious.

Residents who need urgent medical help should ring NHS 111 – trained health professionals can advise on where to go for the best treatment – or if it’s something less serious like a cough, cold or rash, people can visit their local community pharmacy for advice and support.

NHS Harrogate and Rural District CCG GP Governing Body Member Dr Bruce Willoughby, said: “It’s important people use NHS resources sensibly and ‘choose the right care, first time’.

“A wide range of common illnesses and injuries can be treated at home simply with over-the-counter medicines and plenty of rest. Often there is no shortcut to recovery – in many cases these things just need to run their course.

“People suffering from a minor ailment who need additional advice or reassurance should visit their local pharmacy or if it’s more serious, contact NHS 111, who will direct you to the most appropriate place, which could include being connected to a medical professional such as nurse, emergency dentist, pharmacist or GP or arranging a face-to-face appointment if needed.

“The Accident and Emergency department and 999 are for emergencies only, in serious or life-threatening situations.”

The local NHS is also reminding patients with long-term conditions to make sure they have enough of their regular medication to cover them over the long Easter weekend.

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