Residents urged to keep A&E free over bank holiday by Devon doctors

PUBLISHED: 14:13 26 May 2017 | UPDATED: 14:46 26 May 2017

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Residents are being urged to help keep A&E free for emergencies over the bank holiday.

Doctors in Devon are offering advice and guidance on staying well and choosing the right service for professional healthcare this weekend.

GP surgeries will be closed on bank holiday Monday but there will still be a wide range of services available which provide fast and effective health advice and treatment, from minor injuries to serious conditions.

If people are unsure about which service they need, they can call 111 24-hours a day for advice.

Minor Injuries Units are also an alternative to attending A&E when an injury is not considered life-threatening, but still requires urgent treatment. No appointments are needed and nurses will be available to treat things like cuts, small burns or scalds, bites and stings, sprains and certain fractures, minor head injuries and foreign bodies in eyes.

Pharmacists can also offer quick, early advice to patients who feel under the weather and can provide some medicines usually only available on prescription.

Residents are also being advised to stock their medicine cabinet with over-the-counter remedies for ailments such as headaches, stomach upsets, cuts, grazes and stings and indigestion.

Dr Simon Kerr, a GP in Ottery St Mary and chair of the eastern locality of NHS Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “It’s the time of year when we enjoy getting out and about, gardening and catching up with jobs on the house, and no matter how careful we are, accidents can happen.

“If it’s serious or life-threatening, the right thing to do is dial 999 for an ambulance or head to accident and emergency.

“But if it isn’t serious, choose one of the other options available. They are there to provide the best advice and treatment quickly, and keep waiting times down in busy hospital departments.”

Visit nhs.uk/pages/home for more information.

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