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NHS event – new services for people who attend A&E in west Kent – public meeting in Tunbridge Wells on 19 September

Ready for Easter? Check your medication now

User AvatarPosted by Amanda Crawford at 16/03/2018 10:03:15

Doctors in west Kent are asking patients to urgently check that they have the medication they need ahead of the Easter break.

People with asthma, diabetes or any other long-term health condition who have regular medication should make sure they have enough to last the bank holiday weekend. And anyone who is going away on holiday should make sure they take their medication with them.

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 or running out of vital medication.

Dr Bob Bowes, Chair of NHS West Kent Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: "GP surgeries will be closed on Good Friday and Easter Monday so it is important for anyone who takes regular medication to make sure they have sufficient supply. While there’s no need to order large amounts of medicine, check you have enough to last until at least the week after Easter.

“If you do run out of medicine when your GP practice is closed, contact your local pharmacy. Pharmacists can offer help and advice on many illnesses, such as colds and fevers, which can be treated at home without the need to see a doctor.

“Pharmacies also sell a range of medication, often at lower cost than a prescription, which will save both patients and the NHS money. Many pharmacies in west Kent are part of the Common Ailments scheme, which offers expert advice and free medications for certain illnesses to people who don’t usually pay for their prescriptions. For more information, look out for the Common Ailments Scheme posters.

“There are local pharmacies open on Good Friday, Saturday as usual, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday, use the NHS Choices website, www.nhs.uk, to find the opening times of your nearest pharmacies and other local services over the Easter period.

“It is also a good time to restock your medicine cabinet with essentials such as paracetamol, plasters and children’s medicine to avoid an urgent trip out over the bank holiday weekend!”

Now is also a good time to register for online GP services at your local practice. Ask the receptionist for more details on which services are available and how to register.

Finding the right treatment

People who become ill and are not sure where to go should call NHS 111 or use the NHS Choices website.

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

For urgent health advice 24 hours a day, phone NHS 111.

Medicine cabinet

A well-stocked medicine cabinet is important and 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).

If you have a minor injury

There are two minor injury units in west Kent which can treat a number of conditions. Patients are often seen much quicker at an MIU than an A&E department.

Sevenoaks Hospital, Hospital Road TN13 3PG Tel: 01732 470200

Open every day of the year from 8am to 8pm

X-ray services are available from Monday to Friday: 8.45am to 5pm except on bank holidays.

Edenbridge and District War Memorial Hospital, Mill Hill, Edenbridge TN8 5DA Tel: 01732 862137

Open every day (except Christmas Day) from 8.30am to 6.30pm.

X-ray services are available Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9am to 1pm and 2 to 5pm except on bank holidays.

If you are feeling low

The Mental Health Matters helpline (0800 107 0160) offers confidential emotional support and guidance for people in Kent and Medway 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Helpline staff are trained in counselling, so can provide support over the phone. And they also have details of local and national services if people want more support.

Samaritans provides confidential support for anyone feeling down, depressed or anxious, as well as those who may be feeling despair. Volunteers can be contacted 24/7 on 116 123 (UK), or email jo@samaritans.org or face-to-face; visit www.samaritans.org for details of your local branch.

Live Well Kent can help people improve their mental and physical health and wellbeing. It is a free service for anyone over 17. Visit the website https://livewellkent.org.uk to find lots of information about opportunities in east Kent, including for talking therapies, or phone 0800 567 7699.