Local health commissioners are encouraging Sefton residents to examine their options if they become unwell over the bank holiday weekend.
Anyone who thinks they may need to access health services over the bank holiday is being urged to check opening times for walk-in centres, GP practices and chemists and also think about ordering any repeat prescriptions they need before the long weekend begins.
Dr Craig Gillespie, local GP and acting chair of NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said:
“The bank holiday weekend can be a good opportunity to relax and unwind but its important people know how to access health services, should they need to. Many GP practices will be closed on the bank holiday, so it’s particularly important for people to examine their options if they become poorly.”
Dr Rob Caudwell, a Southport GP and chair of NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said:
“There are a variety of services on offer to people such as the advice on the NHS Choices website, and the NHS 111 telephone number. Pharmacists are also available to provide free, confidential advice about common health problems such as coughs, colds and sore throats.”
The local NHS in Sefton is also reminding people that A&E and 999 services are for life-threatening and serious conditions.
Feeling Unwell? – Examine Your Options
Across the region, there are a range of health services to support people if they feel unwell or have any health concerns. There are services which you may be unfamiliar with but could be more appropriate and convenient for you depending on your specific issue.
Many pharmacies will be open throughout the bank holiday weekend and the best way to find out which pharmacy is open and when is to visit our 'Your Services Health page'.
Your local pharmacy can offer free, confidential and expert advice on a range of health issues. They can also help you to self-care and prepare for many common illnesses and offer advice on which medicines to keep in stock at home.
In Sefton – whilst all pharmacies provide advice and treatment for a range of minor illnesses and ailments, a number in Sefton offer Care at the Chemist, which ensures our most vulnerable patients who don't routinely pay for their prescriptions have free and easy access to over the counter medicines they may need without the need to see a doctor.
You can find a wealth of trusted advice about hundreds of health conditions and details of GPs, pharmacies in your local area by visiting www.nhs.uk. This useful website also includes a handy symptom checker.
When you need medical help or advice fast, but it is not a 999 emergency, you can also call the NHS 111 service. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and calls are free from mobiles and landlines.
If you need medical care for illnesses you cannot treat yourself, then your GP should be your next port of call.
Your Local GP
Your GP should be your first point of contact for non-emergency illnesses you can’t treat yourself. Your GP is available from 8.00am to 6.30pm weekdays.
If you don’t have a GP, you can register with your local surgery. If you’re not sure where this is, you can find out at www.nhs.uk or call 0300 77 77 007.
GP Out of Hours Service
If your local surgery is closed, you can still see a GP with the GP out-of-hours service; just call 111 and you can speak to a local GP over the phone or face to face if necessary.
It is very likely that you and your family will be seen and treated more quickly using the out-of-hours service than if you were waiting to see a doctor in A&E, especially at busy times.
Litherland Walk-in Centre is open 8 am – 8 pm every day. in Litherland Town Hall, Hatton Hill Rd, L21 9JN. Call 0151 475 4667.
No matter where you live in Sefton you can simply drop in - there is no need for an appointment and all ages can get treatment here. The service treats minor illnesses and injuries that do not need a visit to accident and emergency (A&E). Remember A&E is for serious and life-threatening illnesses or injuries.
West Lancashire Health Centre – 8 am to 8 pm, 7 days a week
Skelmersdale Walk-in Centre – 8 am to 8 pm, 7 days a week
Manage your repeat prescriptions and make GP appointments from the comfort of your own home, without having to venture outside, by using the new FREE Patient Access website and smartphone app. Simply search for ‘Patient Access’ in the app store.
Remember though, if using Patient Access for the very first time, you will first have to contact your GP practice so that you can register to use the app.
For information about services that can help in south Sefton over the bank holiday please visit our 'Your Services Health page'.