Urgent appeal from Cornwall’s NHS ahead of busy bank holidays

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Our health and care leaders are asking people for their help ahead of three busy bank holidays and further industrial action.

People in Cornwall are being urged to choose the right health and care services at the right time, as the NHS prepares for three busy bank holidays this May and more industrial action.

Some nurses are expected to take part in planned strike action, including those in Cornwall. The strikes are due to last from 8pm on Sunday 30 April until 23.59pm on Monday 1 May.

Coming during the first May bank holiday weekend, there is likely to be a big impact on health services.

It is vital that patients who need urgent medical care continue to come forward as normal, especially in emergency and life-threatening situations.

While the NHS is working hard to prioritise resources to protect emergency treatment, we need your help to make sure that care is available to those who need it the most.

Help us help you

  • Self-care: Stock your medicine cabinet or pack a first-aid kit with; paracetamol and aspirin, plus the equivalent for children if you have them; mild laxatives to relieve constipation; re-hydration mixtures for diarrhoea or vomiting; indigestion remedies; antiseptic cream. Read further self-care advice 
  • Pharmacy: Visit your local pharmacy for rashes, upset stomachs, aches and pains and emergency contraception. Pharmacists can also provide an emergency supply of repeat medicines if you run out. Find your nearest pharmacy and check opening times
  • NHS 111: Visit NHS 111 online or call 111 for advice and support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • GP: Please call your own GP for symptoms that will not go away, even when you are on holiday
  • Minor injury unit: Attend your local minor injury unit for conditions and injuries that are not life-threatening, such as sprains, fractures and burns. Check opening hours and waiting times
  • Cornwall’s 24/7 mental health helpline: Call 0800 038 5300 if you are worried about your own or someone else’s mental health

999: Call 999 in life-threatening emergencies. This includes trouble breathing, chest pain, severe bleeding, stroke, and loss of consciousness

More information can be found on the NHS Cornwall and Isles of Scilly website, under ‘Help Us Help You’.

Chris Reid, Chief Medical Officer for NHS Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Integrated Care Board, said:

“I hope you do not need our services and I hope you have a really lovely bank holiday weekend, but it does not take long just to prepare, especially if you are on regular medication.

“Check you have got a first aid kit; check you have got your meds and understand that you can phone your own GP surgery if needed and if they are open. There is 111 for advice, but if you feel you need care, especially in emergency or life-threatening situations, you should always seek it”.

Looking out for loved ones, at home and in hospital

When health and care services are under pressure, you can play your part by checking in on vulnerable family members and neighbours.

NHS trusts are asking families, friends, and neighbours to work with staff to get patients home from hospital when they are fit for discharge. If you have a loved one in hospital, please be ready to help them home as soon as they are well enough.

Fast access one-off grants of up to £1,500 are also available. If you can support someone in your home, or in their own home, with a little extra help, please contact the ward directly.

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