Doctors in Suffolk have moved to reassure people that NHS care will remain available to them over the Bank Holiday weekend.

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The advice comes from the NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group and NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group, the clinically-led organisations responsible for buying-in and managing most health care services.

Dr Christopher Browning, a GP in Long Melford and chairman of the Governing Body of NHS West Suffolk CCG, said: “There are lots of different ways you can access the right NHS service this weekend.

“By choosing the right option you will get treated more quickly and lessen the pressure on health staff over this busy weekend.

“Being prepared is the best option and could save a stressful dash to a pharmacy or an unnecessary trip to your hospital’s emergency department.

“One of the best ways to be prepared is to have a well-stocked medicine cabinet.

“It is not expensive to stock up on basic items such as sticking plasters, paracetamol, anti-diarrhoeal medicine and indigestion remedy.”

Dr Mark Shenton, a Stowmarket GP and chairman of the Governing Body of NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk CCG, said: “There are a number of pharmacies open over the holiday weekend which will be able to help and offer over-the-counter medication for many minor injuries and illnesses.

“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 packs with you to show the pharmacist what you usually take.

“If you need help fast but it’s not life-threatening then you should call NHS 111. The 111 number is available 24/7 and a trained advisor will help you.

“Perhaps you have a question about medication or a medical concern about yourself or someone else; maybe you want to find your nearest pharmacy that is open on Bank Holiday Monday or perhaps you have a health question that cannot wait until your GP surgery is open or you think you need to access the out-of-hours service.”

To view the list of pharmacies open on Bank Holiday Monday, visit www.ipswichandeastsuffolkccg.nhs.uk/Localservices/Localservices/LocalPharmacies.aspx

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