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28 March 2013
Think twice about heading straight to A&E this Easter weekend if you are unwell and consider alternatives, such as local pharmacies, NHS Direct or local Walk-in Centres.
Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group is supporting people to choose the most appropriate service for their symptoms. Communities in Bedfordshire will find details on this website highlighting which pharmacies are open over the holiday period and where to find them. Visitors to the website will also be able to access the ‘find a service’ directory if they are unsure where to find nearby health services.
Dr Paul Hassan, local GP and Chief Clinical Officer for Bedfordshire CCG, said: “A&E departments get very busy during bank holiday periods, as people are often not sure of the alternatives available when their GP surgery is closed.
“Our message is to please only use A&E services or dial 999 if it is a life threatening or an emergency situation.
“Pharmacies are an excellent place to get expert advice on treating common illnesses, without the need for an appointment. If you take regular medication, please make sure you have enough to see you through the bank holiday and stay safe this Easter.”
If you are feeling unwell and:
· Need to see a GP when your practice is closed, phone your surgery for details of the local out-of-hours GP service.
· Are unsure where to turn, NHS Direct offers health advice and support 24 hours a day on 0845 46 47 or at www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk .
Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (BCCG) is a new organisation, run and led by GPs and other local clinicians, that has been created to take over responsibility for commissioning healthcare from NHS Bedfordshire primary care trust in 2013. BCCG, which comprises the 55 GP practices in Bedfordshire, will have a budget of more than £400m to plan and buy healthcare services for the 430,000 people who live in Bedfordshire