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Know what to do if you feel unwell over the bank holiday?

NHS Herts Valleys CCG is reminding residents about how they, their families and their visitors can get the help they need if they feel unwell or have an accident over the two bank holiday weekends in May.

It’s really important to use the right NHS service for your specific symptoms or condition.

www.nhs.uk is an excellent place to start online for general health advice and information on services local to where you are and their opening hours.

Now is a good time to ask at your practice about registering for Patient Online – this is the service that enables you to book your own GP appointments and order repeat medication using your PC, tablet or smart phone.

Your local pharmacist is an expert in medicines and minor illnesses and a great source of trusted advice on a range of health issues. Whether it’s a skin problem or managing a long term condition such as asthma, pharmacists are highly trained and will help you get the right over the counter medicine to relieve your symptoms. They will also tell you if something needs attention from your practice nurse, GP, dentist or more urgent care.

Details of pharmacy opening hours over the bank holiday weekends are available on the Pharmacy information page on the NHS England website.

Getting requests for repeat prescriptions into your GP early so that you don’t run out of medication over the long weekend is very important too. You should allow 7-10 days. Most GP surgeries offer an online service (using the Patient Online system) but check with your local surgery or visit their website to find out more.

If you need urgent health help when it is not a 999 emergency or if you need advice and don’t know where to go then dial 111. NHS 111 is free to call from all phones and is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

It is always important to use the right NHS service for your symptoms. If you use emergency services such as A&E or the ambulance service when you don’t really need them, you won’t get the best treatment for your illness. You could also delay urgent help for more seriously ill or injured people.