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Help ease pressure on NHS services this Easter, health bosses urge

PUBLISHED: 07:15 25 March 2018 | UPDATED: 07:15 25 March 2018

People are urged to stock up their medicine cabinets. Picture: GETTY IMAGES/COMSTOCK IMAGES

People are urged to stock up their medicine cabinets. Picture: GETTY IMAGES/COMSTOCK IMAGES

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Doctors are urging people in Suffolk and north Essex to get prepared for Easter when GP surgeries will be closed for the long bank holiday weekend.

Dr Hasan Chowhan. Picture: NORTH EAST ESSEX CCGDr Hasan Chowhan. Picture: NORTH EAST ESSEX CCG

Patients are encouraged to stock up their home medicine cabinets and make sure they have enough prescription drugs to last the four days in order to ease pressure on NHS services.

Dr Prashant Arora, a Clacton GP, said: “There are tens of thousands of people with long-term health conditions in the Colchester and Tendring and we’d like them to stay healthy and enjoy their Easter break. We don’t want people to run out of their medication, become poorly and have to spend part of the bank holiday ill. It can be hard in the busy run-up to a break to find time to look after yourself, but it’s really important that you think about your health and get your repeat prescriptions in on time.”

Dr Mark Shenton, a GP in Stowmarket and chairman of NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), advised people to have a good supply of plasters, paracetamol, anti-diarrhoea medicine and indigestion remedy at home.

Dr Hasan Chowhan, chairman of NHS North East Essex CCG, added: “Easter is always a busy time for NHS services and it’s really important that local people are prepared for their healthcare needs when GPs will be closed.”

Dr Mark Shenton. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNDr Mark Shenton. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

While GP practices will be shut on Good Friday and Easter Monday, many pharmacies will be open and people are asked to utilise the resource as well as the 111 NHS helpline in a non-emergency instead of visiting A&E or calling an ambulance.

Dr Christopher Browning, a GP in Long Melford and chairman of NHS West Suffolk CCG, said: “There will be some pharmacies open on Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday so you should take a note of the location and opening times of the pharmacy that’s nearest to you.

“Don’t forget your pharmacist is an expert on medicine and can offer help and advice as well as over the counter medicines that could help you get better.

“If you have forgotten to order your regular medicine from your GP and run out over the holiday period your pharmacist may be able to help by providing an emergency supply. Please remember to take your repeat slip or empty pack with you to show the pharmacist what you usually take.”

Dr Christopher Browning. Picture: WEST SUFFOLK CCGDr Christopher Browning. Picture: WEST SUFFOLK CCG

• See list of pharmacy opening hours across Suffolk and north Essex this Easter

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