• Where to access medical help over the May bank holiday weekend

    With the May bank holiday weekend fast approaching, Devon Doctors is reminding people where they can access medical help.

    We're also asking people to help themselves, as far as they can, with a bit of planning for any medicines they might need.

    Medical director Dr Chris Bastin said: “Devon Doctors provides urgent care in the out-of-hours period and bank holidays are our busiest time.

    “Choosing the right NHS service will free up our urgent service for those who need it most.

    “Repeat medication should be organised before GP practices close on Good Friday [April 18], while people needing routine medical care should await the reopening of their GP or, alternatively, call NHS 111 or seek advice from a pharmacist.

    “But remember, practices will be closed and pharmacies will operate limited hours from Friday, April 18, to Monday, April 21, so make sure you stock up before they close and arrange for any repeat prescriptions you may need."

    Of course, anyone with a life-threatening condition is advised to ring 999 immediately, while anyone who considers themselves in need of urgent care which cannot wait until their GP surgery reopens can access the Devon Doctors’ out-of-hours service via NHS 111.

    The bank holiday closure of GP practices invariably see a sharp increase in people trying to access the out-of-hours service inappropriately and unnecessary calls to emergency services and nurse-led Minor Injury Units, which can create problems for people who have a real need for these services.

    “In addition, it will also be a huge help if people stock up on medicines before the bank holiday weekend, especially if they’re going away on holiday and don’t want a headache or fever to spoil their fun,” added Dr Bastin.

    “Some helpful suggestions for your medicine cabinet include plasters, bandages and cleansing wipes, safety pins, sterile gloves, scissors and tape, a thermometer, painkillers such as paracetamol / infant paracetamol for children, aspirin [not to be given to anyone under 16] or ibuprofen, cough medicine and anti-diarrheal medicines.”

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    Devon Doctors Ltd and its subsidiaries Access Health and Access Dental are social enterprises. We exist to benefit the communities we serve. We’re run by healthcare professionals, owned by GP practices, and don’t have any stakeholders. Any profits we might make are used to improve our services.

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