Know your local NHS services and Get the Right Treatment this holiday

Norfolk Primary Care Trust is encouraging people to be prepared to deal with health matters during the festive season and to be aware of the local NHS services which are available to help and how to use them.

Being unwell whilst everyone else is enjoying the festive fun is a real pain.  But by taking a few simple steps everyone can be prepared to deal with any health problem which might crop up during the Christmas and New Year holiday and our local NHS has a number of convenient services which mean people can get the right treatment, from the right place, at the right time.

GP surgeries will be closed for four days at Christmas and three days at New Year, so people who take repeat prescribed medicines should make sure they have enough to see them through into the New Year.   Allow enough time to collect prescriptions before your surgery closes for the holiday.

One of the easiest options is Self-care and pharmacists are highly qualified professionals who can help by giving advice about treating minor ailments and the most effective over-the-counter medicines to use. Stock up on treatments to help you deal with with common illnesses like colds and flu, coughs, sore throats, indigestion and headaches and if you have children, don’t forget to include suitable medicines for them.  

Local pharmacies operate an emergency rota over the holiday, with at least one pharmacy open in each area for a few hours every day.  This enables people to obtain prescriptions or urgent over-the-counter medicines.  Information about which pharmacies are open is available from Norfolk PCTs website or by phoning NHS Direct on 0845 4647.

GP surgeries will be closed for 4 days at Christmas and 3 days at New Year.  So patients should plan ahead and ask for their repeat prescription in good time to avoid running out of essential medicines during the holiday.

Anglian Medical Care is the GP out-of-hours service which covers Norfolk and Waveney.  It is there to assist anyone who needs urgent medical advice when their surgery is closed overnight, at week-ends and on bank holidays.  They can be called direct on 01603 488488.  Depending on the nature of the problem, a doctor may give advice over the telephone, ask the patient to visit the nearest local treatment centre or, if necessary, make a home visit.

At the Norwich NHS Walk-in Centre the nurse practitioners are able to treat and give advice for a range of minor illness and injury, including sore throats, skin, eye and urinary infections, tummy ache, strains and sprains, wound treatment and removing foreign bodies in the eye.  No appointment is needed and patient’s can go direct to the centre at Pound Lane, Thorpe St. Andrew (next to Sainsbury’s).  It is open on weekdays and Saturdays from 7 am to 10 pm and on Sundays and Bank holidays from 9 am to 10 pm.  The Walk-in Centre is open on all other bank holidays and weekends during Christmas and New Year except for Christmas Day when it is closed.

The Norfolk NHS Direct call centre operates a 24 hour confidential service, responding to requests for information and advice and connecting people who are unsure whether they need medical help to appropriate services.  Call NHS Direct on 0845 4647. In an

Emergency, depending on the situation, people should dial 999 or go to A&E straight away.  It is an emergency if the person is:

  • Having a suspected heart attack
  • Complaining of chest pains
  • Unconscious
  • Losing a lot of blood
  • Suspected of having a broken bone
  • Suffering from a deep wound or head injury
  • Struggling to breathe

If you suspect that someone has had a stroke do the F.A.S.T. test – test all three:

  • Facial weakness: can the person smile? Has their mouth or eye dropped?
  • Arm weakness: Can the person raise both arms?
  •  Speech problems: Can the person speak clearly and understand what you say?

Monday 18th of December 2006 03:00:44 PM