How to access advice and treatment for minor illnesses this August bank holiday

COMMUNITY pharmacies across Tameside will be helping local people stay well and access advice and treatment for minor illnesses this August bank holiday.

The NHS and community pharmacies are encouraging people to make pharmacy their first port of call for expert advice and care. At any time, pharmacies are the best place to go at the first sign of minor ailments, however especially on a bank holiday.  As qualified professionals, pharmacists are experts in medicines and can offer clinical advice and over-the-counter medicines for a range of minor illnesses, such as minor eye problems, cough, colds, sore throats, tummy trouble, aches and pains, a migraine, eczema or other skin problem, or minor burns/injuries.

Several pharmacies in Tameside and Glossop will be open on bank holiday Monday 30 August and all Greater Manchester pharmacies will be open for their regular hours thereafter.

People who take regular medications are urged to make sure their prescription will last them over the bank holiday weekend.  Some pharmacies are providing a delivery service for residents who have no support.  People are encouraged to reduce the demand and pressure on this service if they are feeling unwell and self-isolating by asking friends, relatives or neighbours to collect their medicines in the first instance.

People can speak to a pharmacist in confidence, in a private area, about the most personal symptoms, and should telephone their usual pharmacy before travelling as opening times may vary over the bank holiday.

Anyone with a health condition that cannot be treated by a pharmacist should call NHS 111 or go online, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for advice.  They can book patients with an urgent but not life-threatening condition an appointment to see a healthcare professional through the Primary Care Access Service (PCAS)  to be seen at one of five neighbourhood hubs in Tameside and Glossop.

NHS 111 will ensure people get the Right Treatment in the Right Place and will book an appointment for them to be seen at an agreed time.  This will help keep people safe and reduce the time sitting in waiting rooms, therefore increasing convenience and reducing contact with other patients.

Anyone with coronavirus symptoms, no matter how mild, is advised not to visit a pharmacy, GP or hospital.  It is important to self-isolate for at least 10 days from when symptoms started and get tested immediately, within 5 days of being symptomatic. To book a test or order a home testing kit go online or telephone 119.

Top tips to stay well:

  • Self-care. Have over-the-counter products such as painkillers, antiseptics and plasters in the medicine cupboard at home to help bring relief to symptoms. Drink plenty of water as it’s a good way to stay hydrated.  Get plenty of rest and avoid fizzy drinks and pure fruit juices. Order repeat prescriptions well in advance of the bank holiday.
  • Pharmacy.  Make pharmacy the first port of call for advice/care for minor conditions and general health advice.  Go to the pharmacy at the first sign of any minor illness e.g. coughs, colds, sore throats, flu, and aches and pains.
  • NHS 111.  Contact NHS 111 if a pharmacy cannot treat. Phone 111 or go online
  • Dentists.  If in pain or in need of support, help or advice, please telephone your dental practice in the usual way. If you don’t have a usual dentist and you have an urgent need you can call your local dental helpline: 0333 332 3800

Look out for family, friends and neighbours who may be vulnerable – check they’re okay and not feeling isolated or unwell.  Offer to help them with shopping etc if they’re isolating.

Information on pharmacy opening times and how to access care can be found at:

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