HEALTH chiefs are urging residents to know their health service options this Easter.
They say there is always extra pressure on emergency services over bank holidays with many people choosing to visit A&E, when there are a number of other health services available.
The extra-long bank holiday weekend means that some NHS services, like GP practices and dentists, will close on Thursday evening, March 29 and not open again until Tuesday morning, April 3.
Many minor complaints such as coughs and colds can be treated by staying at home, getting plenty of rest and making sure the medicine cabinet is well stocked.
The local pharmacist can give expert, confidential advice or medicines for minor ailments such as coughs and colds, tummy troubles and much more.
These will open over the bank holiday weekend but keep an eye open for times.
People can call 111, the free NHS Service, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for fast medical advice when it’s not an emergency. This can include arranging an out-of-hours GP appointment.
Minor Injury Units (MIUs) offer fast, convenient and expert care for minor conditions including cuts, grazes, sprains and burns.
The nearest one to Redditch is the Princess of Wales Community Hospital, Stourbridge Road, Bromsgrove, B61 0BB, open from 8am to 8pm Monday-Friday and 12pm to 8pm Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays.
Therre is also Evesham Community Hospital, Waterside, Evesham, WR11 1JT, open from 9am to 9pm.
To get more information, you can find A&E and Minor Injuries Unit waiting times on the Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust website www.worcsacute.nhs.uk/waiting.
Mari Gay, chief operating officer for the three Worcestershire CCGs said: “It’s important to plan ahead and make sure you’re fully prepared for the Easter period.
“There are a number of different things people can do to be ready, for example, making sure you collect your repeat prescription in good time will mean you’re well equipped for the Easter break.
“If you need help when your local GP Surgery is not open, you can call 111, which is a free NHS Service and can quickly direct you to the right health service, including out of hours GP appointments. Pharmacists can also help with a range of common conditions and minor injuries.”