Dr Tatham added: “People who don’t have enough medicines can put a lot of strain on emergency services that are there to deal with life-threatening and urgent health problems – not to issue repeat prescriptions. If you do need repeat medicines during the bank holiday period, call NHS 111 who can arrange an emergency supply.
"Many NHS staff will be working over the bank holiday period and there are steps we can all take to make sure we use the most appropriate service for our needs to support our busy health service.
"If it’s an urgent healthcare need but it’s not a life-threatening emergency, call NHS 111 for free on a landline of mobile, 24 hours-a-day, seven days-a-week.
“If you need health advice over the bank holiday and it’s not a life-threatening emergency, you can call in to see your local pharmacist. Pharmacists are highly trained experts who can provide free and friendly advice on a range of health conditions and medication, without the need for an appointment.”
Pharmacies stock a range of useful items so you can look after yourself at home should you need to. These include pain relief such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, cough and cold remedies, sore throat remedies, anti-diarrhoea treatments, indigestion remedies, simple dressing and plasters and antihistamines for common allergies such as hay fever.
Details of pharmacies that are open over the bank holiday period are available on the CCGs’ websites.
You can also check your symptoms and find information on a wide range of common illnesses and conditions on NHS Choices - www.nhs.uk – the UK’s largest health website.
You should only go to your local accident and emergency department or dial 999 in a critical or life-threatening situation. For example, loss of consciousness, fits that are not stopping, persistent and
severe chest pain (possible signs of a heart attack), severe breathing difficulties, severe bleeding that can’t be stopped, slurred speech, a face that drops on one side or weakness or numbness on one side of the body (signs of a stroke).