Doctors are urging people to remember that NHS services are still there for them over the long bank holiday weekend, whatever their need.
Although Covid-19 is still a big priority for health services everywhere, the NHS across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight is geared up to offer whatever support people may need – including on Bank Holiday Monday, on 25 May.
If anyone needs urgent help or advice regarding an injury, an physical illness, or concerns over their emotional and mental health, skilled staff are available to help.
Dr Michele Legg, GP and clinical chair of NHS Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “It is really important that people know the NHS is still there to help this bank holiday – and every day. Clearly, if you have a minor problem which can be sorted at home, or with over-the-counter medicines, then that is what you should do.
“But if someone has a problem and feels they need care or advice urgently, then they should absolutely get in touch, preferably by calling first, so we can make sure they get the help they need, as soon as possible.
“With everyone talking about Covid-19, there is a danger that people may feel that their health problem isn't important enough to get in touch, or that they don't want to be a burden.
“As a doctor, that is the last thing I would want. I would much rather people get in touch to put their mind at rest that they are ok, instead of knowing that people weren't coming to me when they were worried.”
On the late May bank holiday, the arrangements for the Isle of Wight are as follows:
- NHS 111 – the online service (111.nhs.uk) and telephone line are both available, 24/7. If you need help or advice and don't think you can wait, go online, or call. The 111 service supports people struggling with their mental health, as well as physical health.
- Pharmacies – expert advice on medications and minor illnesses. Not all pharmacies are open on bank holidays, but a network of sites will be open. Check opening times on the NHS website, although always call ahead before travelling, to make sure.
- GP surgeries will not be routinely open, but a team of local primary care staff (including GPs and practice nurses) can be reached via the NHS 111 service. The 111 service will assess a patient's need, and arrange an appointment (virtually or face-to-face), with the right clinician, as appropriate.
- If you need dental advice, call your usual dental practice if they are open or contact 111 while they are closed, and the team can find the right support for you.
- 999 services and Emergency Departments remain open, 24/7, if you have a serious or life-threatening concern.
If someone believes they have symptoms associated with Covid-19, they should not visit a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital – on the bank holiday, or any other day. Up-to-date advice is on the NHS website www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19, and people who believe they may have the illness should visit the 111 online coronavirus service, or call 111 if unable to access help online.
Additional local service information
Pharmacists are an essential part of the NHS and need your help and support during the pandemic. Please treat staff with respect. They are doing their best to provide you with the medicines and advice you need.
If you have a prescription to collect:
- If you are shielding, aged 70 or over, have a long-term health condition or are pregnant you should arrange collection by a relative or friend, or ask your pharmacy for help with delivery
- Ask any relatives and friends who are delivering your medicines to ensure they have seen you pick up the bag
- If your medicines are being delivered ensure you keep a safe distance when you receive them.
For everyone else, if you are going into a pharmacy in person, follow social distancing rules and the rules put in place by the pharmacy to protect you and their staff. Sales of some medicines may be restricted in quantity by pharmacies to ensure that there is enough for everyone.
Mental health support
For children and young people aged 11 to 17 they can call the crisis line free on 0300 303 1590, Monday to Thursday (including bank holidays) from 3pm to 8.30pm.
Anyone can call NHS 111, 24/7 for mental health support.
Isle of Wight Urgent Treatment Centre
This service is not a walk-in – people needing advice or care should call NHS 111 in the first instance, and appointments can be made – if appropriate – at the UTC.
Support helpline for vulnerable Islanders
A helpline has been set up to support our most vulnerable residents affected by coronavirus self-isolation measures.
You can call 01983 823 600 between 9am and 5pm, 7 days a week.
This phone number is for anyone
- who needs help because of self-isolation
- who is alone and needs support
- who feels vulnerable
- if anyone needs any help collecting their prescriptions