22 March 2016 - Have An ‘Eggcellent’ Easter Weekend Many people will be making some ‘eggciting’ plans for the upcoming long Easter break, with most looking forward to indulging in some sweet treats, catching up with family and friends over a drink and hopefully enjoying some sunny weather by getting out and about. The Easter weekend is also a four day break from normal health services, so as well as thinking which Easter egg to get stuck into first, make sure that any health care needs you or those you care for are in place. If you require medication check you have enough for over the four day period so you don’t run out. Having a well-stocked medicine cabinet containing pain relief such as paracetamol and even antacids, in case of tummy ache from inadvertently eating too much chocolate, is also a good idea. It’s always useful to find out the opening hours of your local pharmacy as many will still be open over the holidays and they can give advice or treatment for a minor health problem whilst your GP surgery is closed. If chasing the Easter bunny around the garden results in some minor injuries such as sprains, burns or cuts, then a local walk-in or urgent care centre will be able to provide the necessary treatment. Alternatively, if you have a health problem but are not sure what to do, give NHS 111 a call and they can arrange clinical support over the phone or refer to out-of-hours services if necessary. Ged Blezard, Interim Director of Operations at NWAS says: “The Easter weekend is a chance to relax and enjoy time with family and friends, but for our staff at North West Ambulance Service, it’s one of our busiest times of the year. “We always plan ahead for an increase in demand over bank holidays and urge anyone who isn’t faced with a serious or life-threatening emergency to consider all the other options to get the health advice and care they need. “Calling for an ambulance will not get you seen or treated any quicker, and I’m sure being sat waiting in hospital is the last place you will want to be over the Easter break. So please help us and only call 999 in an emergency.” For the details of your local service providers, including pharmacies and also medical advice have a look on the NHS Choices website – www.nhs.uk.