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Posted on Wednesday 1st April 2015

With Easter coming the local NHS is advising Cumbria’s residents to plan their healthcare during the long weekend and help ease the pressure on hospital services.

Keeping a well-stocked medicine cabinet, visiting your pharmacist before calling Cumbria Health on Call Services (CHoC) or visiting A&E, can help ease the pressure on vital services for those in real need of emergency treatment.

Dr David Rogers, Medical Director for NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Easter is another time in the year that hospitals and CHOC can experience a high number of patients and we are again urging everyone to think before visiting A&E or calling CHOC.

“Your local pharmacy can be an excellent place in offering expert, confidential advice and treatment for many minor health problems and the best medicines to treat them, visiting the pharmacist can save you time in the waiting room and help you feel better fast.

“We would also strongly encourage patients, as most GP surgeries will be closed on Good Friday and Easter Monday, to order any medication they need in plenty of time so they have a good supply over the long weekend.”

It is always best to be prepared. That’s why the advice is to have a well-stocked medicine cabinet for times when you or your family are feeling under the weather.

Dr Rogers added: “Having home remedies to hand means peace of mind, and “self-care” is often the best remedy in many instances. Common ailments such as colds, sore throats and coughs do not always need to be treated with a visit to the GP and antibiotics.

For health advice, visit the NHS Choices website at www.nhs.uk/asap|

The public are also being reminded that if they feel the need to visit an out of hours centre to be aware of the following:

 Ring first. Please do not walk into a busy out of hours centre as patients who have telephoned first and poorly patients will take priority.

 Do not attend a centre if you have symptoms of vomiting and diarrhoea. Always ring for advice first.

 The GP out of hours service needs to be able to reach poorly patients quickly. If you can wait for advice from your own surgery then please do.

 CHoC cannot offer a repeat prescription service. This must be arranged with your own surgery. If you do run out of important medicine please ring for advice but to prevent this happening try to ensure you have a good supply before the Bank Holiday.

 Remember both Friday and Monday are bank holidays, be prepared, collect your repeat prescriptions well in advance. There is limited pharmacy opening time over the Easter period with only 1-2hours of opening in your area on Easter Sunday.

 The GP out of hours service will be very busy, only telephone if you have urgent needs. There may be delays ringing back with advice and appointment times. Do not keep re-contacting the service unless your symptoms have become worse.

Susan Blakemore, Managing Director for CHoC said “Easter is expected to be very busy. CHOC need to be able to treat the really poorly patients quickly. Please do not walk into any of the CHOC centres and always ring ahead if your symptoms mean you require treatment “

CHoC are available by calling 03000 247 247.

For information on walk-in centres, urgent care centres or minor injuries units please visit the NHS Choices website|. Patients can type in their postcode on the website to find their nearest services.

Cumbria pharmacy opening hours can be found on the CCG’s|website at www.cumbriaccg.nhs.uk|.


Posted on Wednesday 1st April 2015


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