WITH the Easter holidays fast approaching, many people who rely heavily on their GPs and hospital services will wonder where this will leave them in the face of an emergency.
While it is true that some services will not be available — such as GPs’ surgeries, which will be closed — NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde have produced a must-have booklet, Easter Guide to your health services, detailing what service users should do over the period.
The guide can be picked up from any doctors’ surgeries, health centres, clinics, pharmacies and opticians.
It includes vital information such as the opening hours of pharmacies and advice on how to access a GP when surgeries are closed.
Dr Norrie Gaw, Clinical Director of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s out-of-hours service, said: “Although GP and dental surgeries will close for the two public holidays on Good Friday and Easter Monday, many other health services remain open. This guide lets you know what to do if someone becomes unwell and can’t wait for their GP surgery or dental surgery to re-open after the Easter break.
“I would encourage everybody to make sure they get a copy and keep it handy.”
For those who don’t manage to pick up a copy of the brochure, a live version is available on NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s website www.nhsggc.org.uk/knowwhototurnto. The guide is available on the website alongside a wealth of other useful advice on staying healthy and how to make the most of services offered by your NHS.
Dr Linda de Caestecker, NHSGGC’s director of public health, explained: “As always, our hospitals and community health services make plans that are flexible enough to meet increased demand over the holiday period.
“But being prepared is increasingly about preventing admissions. The key to this is ensuring the public are prepared for GP surgeries and dental surgeries being closed over the Easter long weekend, and knowing what to do if they feel unwell.
“Many common ailments, such as colds and flu or stomach upsets, can be treated without going to GPs or local hospitals — pharmacists often provide the appropriate help. By using healthcare services appropriately over the Good Friday and Easter Monday public holidays, pressure on the system is relieved, patients will receive speedy and suitable advice and we are able to direct help to where it is needed most.”