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Feeling unwell over the August Bank Holiday? Ask your pharmacist

21 August 2015


People sometimes go to A&E with common illnesses or aches and pains over bank holidays as their GP surgery is closed. But did you know that your local pharmacist can offer advice and provide medication for a range of common ailments? Many pharmacies are open over the bank holiday weekend, including Monday’s holiday.

Pharmacists can also issue an emergency supply of any prescription medication that isn’t a controlled drug. You can see your local pharmacist anytime: just walk in, without an appointment.

You can find a list of pharmacies in Bedfordshire which will be open near you over the bank holiday weekend, by visiting www.bedfordshireccg.nhs.uk.

Sally-Jane Hamilton, Pharmacist for Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (BCCG) said: “Pharmacists can help with a wide range of common conditions and minor injuries, such as headaches and back pain, coughs and colds, sore throat, upset stomach and skin rashes. We can help choose the best medicines such as pain killers and anti-histamines and help people stock their medicine cabinet at home to treat minor illnesses and ailments.”

Even if your GP surgery is closed, remember to check their website for information about out of hours cover. The Putnoe Walk-in Centre, Bedford is open 8am – 6.30pm, 365 days a year – including bank holidays, and can help with minor illnesses such as cuts and grazes, strains and sprains, and an array of other common ailments as a safe, speedy alternative to A&E.

A&E is only for real emergencies, so for anything else, consult a pharmacist, get health information from NHS Choices , or get urgent medical advice by calling 111.


For more information contact communications@bedfordshireccg.nhs.uk 01525 864406

Notes to editors

At Putnoe walk in centre, the majority of patients are seen within one hour. The wait in Accident and Emergency Department for non-urgent problems may be much longer so if you have a minor illness or minor injury please attend the Walk In Centre rather than A&E.

Please note that the Walk-In Centre is a nurse-led service. Whilst a GP is always available if clinically required you are most likely to be seen by a Minor Illness Specialist Nurse in the first instance.

Information about controlled drugs can be found here. 

Visit www.bedfordshireccg.nhs.uk/selfcare  to find information about your nearest pharmacy including the services they offer and their opening times. Many pharmacies are open late and at weekends.

Common medicines available over-the-counter can treat a range of minor ailments such as:aches and pains, heartburn and indigestion, coughs and colds, hay fever and allergies, sore throat , eczema, upset stomach , athlete's foot, skin rashes, headlice.

BCCG is a GP-led commissioning group that purchases secondary and community health services for the people of Bedfordshire. For more information go to: www.bedfordshireccg.nhs.uk

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