Prepare for Easter weekend

Ashford Clinical Commissioning GroupThe NHS is urging east Kent residents to make sure they are prepared for Easter by checking they have the medicine they need and downloading Health Help Now to their smartphones.

The long weekend can be one of the busiest times of the year for the NHS, but with a few simple steps people can avoid an unnecessary trip to A&E.

Dr Navin Kumta, Chair of NHS Ashford Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “GP surgeries will be closed on Good Friday and Easter Monday so we’re urging people who take regular medication to check they have got enough to last until at least the week after Easter.

“Please make sure your medicine cabinet is well stocked too – no one wants to spend the holidays driving around in search of paracetamol, plasters or children’s medicine.

“There are local pharmacies open on Good Friday, Saturday as usual, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday and, to find them, people can use Health Help Now which is available on the web at or it can be downloaded from the Google Play and the App Store.”

Finding the right treatment

Health Help Now was launched by the NHS in Kent and Medway to help people find the right treatment for health problems, especially when they are not sure what to do or who to contact. It has been used more than 275,000 times.

It has lots of local information and can guide you to the service that will be best able to deal with your symptoms, including helplines. It also shows when services, such as pharmacies are open or closed – which is invaluable on bank holidays, evenings and weekends.

The downloadable version features a health wallet, where users can make notes about symptoms or questions they may need to ask a GP, keep a list of health appointments and contacts, save favourite pages from Health Help Now and view other useful apps, including information about waiting times at minor injury units and A&Es in east Kent.

If you don’t have internet access or a smartphone, phone 111 for urgent health advice 24 hours a day.

Medicine cabinet

A well-stocked medicine cabinet should include:
• Painkillers (paracetamol and ibuprofen – including child versions if you have children under 12)
• Thermometer
• Plasters, bandages and sticking tape
• Antiseptic cream
• Sunscreen
• Rehydration salts
• Indigestion treatments
• Antihistamines (such as hay fever tablets and insect bite creams).

NHS Ashford Clinical Commissioning Group 08 April 2017

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