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Advice on staying safe in the sun this bank holiday weekend

25 May 2018 10:00am

Hoping to hit the sunshine jackpot and have two warm and sunny bank holidays in a row is Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). It is hedging its bets for sunny weather and offering advice to local residents on how to have fun in the sun safely – along with making sure residents know where to get medical help if needed.

Dr Julian Povey, Clinical Chair for Shropshire CCG, said: “It is lovely to get sunny and warm weather for a bank holiday weekend but it is important to be careful and remember to stay safe in the sun. There are many sun screen products available, with different factors and options, and it can be confusing to know which product is right for your needs. You can always check with your local pharmacist, sunburn is easier to prevent than treat, especially in children.

“Pharmacists are medically trained health professionals, often open late and available on a rota system over the bank holiday weekend to make sure that there is always somewhere for local residents to get free advice without the need for an appointment. Remember, if you do start to feel unwell in anyway, there is a range of healthcare services available in Shropshire to help you including NHS 111, the walk-in centre, minor injury units, and of course A&E is there 24/7 for life threatening serious emergencies only.

“It is worth remembering that self-care is the best choice to treat minor illnesses, ailments and injuries. A range of common illnesses can be treated with over the counter medicines and plenty of rest. Having a few basic items in your medicine cabinet, like paracetamol, bandages, plasters, antiseptic cream and indigestion tablets, can save you time if you become ill – so take the opportunity to stock up now. Information on specific self-care topics is being made available on a new section of our website, which aims to help people to make informed choices and decisions about the care they need. Visit http://www.shropshireccg.nhs.uk/health-advice/self-care/ for more information.”

So you can get on with enjoying the bank holiday weekend ahead, the following healthcare arrangements will be in place in Shropshire:

Pharmacies - Pharmacists can provide free, confidential, expert advice for a range of common illnesses and complaints - and no appointment is necessary. In Shropshire pharmacies will be open on a rota system over the bank holiday weekend - you can view the Shropshire Pharmacy rota here.

GP / non-urgent medical advice - Most practices across Shropshire will be closed over the bank holiday weekend, but check with your own practice for local arrangements. If you do need non-urgent medical advice over the weekend, then the following options are available:

  • Ask NHS App - This allows you to access the same services as you can by telephone - just in a digital format. It includes a virtual clinician and symptom checker and helps you to access appropriate care. You can download the ‘Ask NHS’ app via Google Play or Apple App Store.
  • NHS 111 - Help and advice is available 24-hours-a-day (just dial 111) free of charge from a landline or mobile. Trained advisors can provide information and direct you to the best healthcare service for you. This is not to be used for a 999 emergency.
  • NHS Choices - Help is on hand at the click of a button on a range of health conditions and treatments. Visit the NHS Choices website
  • Shropdoc - Patients can call the out-of-hours GP service, Shropdoc, on 0333 222 6655 or visit https://shropdoc.org.uk/ for more information.

Walk-in Centre / Urgent Care Centre - Based next to the A&E at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and open every day from 8am to 8pm. No appointment is necessary. It can help with a range of symptoms from high temperatures in children, breathing problems, severe headaches, abdominal pain, painful infections through to mild injuries and burns.

Minor Injury Units (MIUs) - The Minor Injury Units are staffed by experienced nurses and offer treatment to anyone with a minor injury. This is a walk-in service - you do not need to be referred or to make an appointment, but please note they are not open 24 hours. If your condition cannot be dealt with at the MIU, you will be referred to another appropriate service. For more information on locations and opening times please visit our website.

999 / Hospital Accident & Emergency (A&E) - The Emergency Department is intended for patients who have suffered a serious injury, severe illness or a medical emergency. The Hospital Emergency Department is there for everyone in the event of an accident or emergency. An emergency is a critical or life-threatening situation, such as:

  • loss of consciousness
  • acute confused state and fits that are not stopping
  • persistent, severe chest pain
  • breathing difficulties
  • severe bleeding that cannot be stopped
  • severe allergic reactions
  • severe burns or scalds

(Choking, chest pain, blacking out, blood loss and fractures are all considered emergencies and those with these symptoms should not hesitate in visiting their local A&E department).

For further information on Sun safety tips please visit https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/sunscreen-and-sun-safety/.