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Be prepared this Easter weekend

02 April 2015

Health Care

With the Easter weekend approaching, Southend University Hospital would like to remind members of the public to use local health service wisely and only visit the accident and emergency department if they are seriously unwell or critically injured.

Sue Hardy, acting chief executive at the hospital, said: "Easter is one of the hospital's busiest times with the double bank holiday, so we would encourage people to only visit the emergency department if it is absolutely necessary.

"Patients attending our emergency department are prioritised according to how unwell they are, so those with 'non-urgent' conditions will wait much longer than usual."

Choosing the most appropriate service

Choking, chest pain, blacking out, blood loss and fractures are all considered emergencies, and anyone with symptoms like this should not hesitate to visit their local A&E department.

If your GP surgery is closed and you need more than telephone advice, you can avoid several hours' wait in the emergency department by telephoning NHS 111 for an appointment with your GP's out-of-hours service. This runs from 6.30pm until 8.00am Monday to Friday, and all day at weekends and Bank Holidays.

St Luke's Health Centre (Pantile Avenue, Southend) is open at weekends and Bank Holidays from 8.00am to 8.00pm. The walk-in service offers treatment, information and advice for a range of minor illnesses and injuries including: 

•             cuts and grazes

•             coughs, colds and flu-like symptoms

•             stomach upsets

•             minor scalds and burns

•             strains and sprains

•             minor ear, throat, skin and eye conditions.

What's open when and where this Easter in south east Essex?

In many instances your local pharmacy is a good choice. Pharmacists can help give advice and over-the-counter remedies for diarrhoea, minor infections, headaches, coughs and colds, as well as selling bandages and supports for minor twists and sprains.

Anyone who is unsure of the best course of action should telephone NHS 111 for health advice; they are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.