11 April 2017 - Ambulance Service Encourages People to Plan Ahead of Easter Weekend As the Easter bank holiday weekend fast approaches, North West Ambulance Service urges people to plan ahead of GP and pharmacy closures by stocking up on essential medication. The emergency service often sees an increase in 999 calls for minor illnesses and injuries over bank holidays. Last Easter weekend, the Trust received over 13,000 999 calls and of those, 8.3 per cent were advised on how to self-care and an ambulance wasn’t sent. Calls the Trust received during Easter weekend last year that didn’t require an emergency response included, a trapped finger, a spot on the bottom, a toe injury and groin pain. Emergency Operation Centre Sector Manager, Peter Ballan said: “We tend to see an increase in calls around the holiday periods as many people don’t know what alternative care is available when their GP practice is closed. “Wherever possible we aim to encourage self-care at home for minor ailments and therefore it is important to keep a well-stocked medicine cupboard including essentials such as: • Paracetamol • Antihistamines• Anti-diarrhoea tablets• Indigestion treatment• Sunscreen• A first aid kit “Information on a wide range of common health problems can be found on www.nhs.uk and patients can receive non-emergency medical advice by dialling 111 24 hours a day.” As many pharmacies and chemists will be closed over the bank holiday weekend, the Trust also urges people to collect any prescriptions they will need in plenty of time to keep themselves as healthy as possible to make the most of the Easter break! As always, the Trust will be on hand to attend emergencies but asks the public to think twice before dialling 999 and remember that it should only be called for life-threatening or potentially life-threatening emergencies.