Half-term plea to help get hospital patients home quickly and choose services wisely

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As Cornwall’s NHS prepares for a busy bank holiday and half-term, people are being urged to help get loved ones home from hospital as soon as they are well enough.

If you have a family member, friend or neighbour who is in hospital but ready to leave, please help us by collecting them as early as possible to get home and enjoy the sunshine. This will help us free up beds for the sickest patients.

We have already given out over 140 fast access one-off discharge grants of up to £1,500, and they are still available. So, if you can support someone in their own home or yours, speak to a nurse in charge on the ward for details.

With the warm weather likely to mean an influx of visitors, it is vital that residents and holidaymakers choose the right service at the right time to help us prioritise care for those who need it most.

‘Choose Well’ at home

  • 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.

‘Choose Well’ on holiday

If you have forgotten to pack your prescription medication, pharmacists can arrange an emergency supply, even if you do not live in Cornwall. You can also order a prescription online.

If you are visiting Cornwall and need non-urgent advice, please call your own GP and not the one closest to where you are staying. If you need non-urgent care when your own GP is not open, please visit NHS 111 online or call 111 for advice, any time day or night.

If you need to visit a hospital, please do not just turn up as you may be directed elsewhere or have to wait longer. You can contact NHS 111 to find out where you should go and when.

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

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