With GP surgeries closing for two public holidays in May, NHS Tayside is urging members of the public to make sure they know where to get the right treatment at the right time.
GP surgeries will be closed on May Day Monday, 7 May and Monday, 28 May. The public are advised to contact NHS 24 on 111 if you have an urgent problem when your GP surgery is closed. You should only attend Accident and Emergency Departments with emergency conditions.
Consultant in Emergency Medicine Dr Michael Johnston said, “At peak times and especially over holiday periods, A&E can be very busy. We need to make sure that we are able to see people quickly if they need emergency care. Members of the public have always recognised that A&E is for those with genuine emergencies, however, they are not always aware of what alternatives are out there, especially when their own GP is closed.
“There are many alternatives to A&E and going directly to the person with the most appropriate skills is important. Around one in four people who visit A&E could receive treatment more appropriately by accessing a different service, such their own GP, community pharmacist or local Minor Injury and Illness Unit. This can help you to a quicker recovery and ensures that all NHS Tayside services are run efficiently over holiday periods.”
Here is some helpful advice to ensure you access the right treatment in the right place, at the right time:
- When your GP surgery is closed, and you’re too ill to wait until it re-opens, you can access appropriate out-of-hours services (including a nurse or GP) through NHS 24 by calling 111
- Your local Primary Care out-of-hours service, which includes GPs, works with NHS 24 to make sure that urgent medical advice and care is always available to you.
- If you live in a rural area and have a minor illness such as an earache or a cut, minor burn or sprain, turn to your Minor Injury and Illness Unit or NHS 24
- Your local pharmacist can provide a whole range of services including free advice, support and guidance on all your health problems. Community pharmacies are open at convenient times on Saturdays and Sundays in many locations
- Avoid a crisis, be prepared and buy essentials now. A pharmacist can advise you on a well stocked medicine cabinet
- Find about your local health services and get health advice online at nhsinform.scot