Know “Where is best?” for your half term health needs

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Know “Where is best?” for your half term health needs

Cornwall’s NHS is urging people to consider “Where is best?” if they are ill or injured this half term, with health and care services remaining busy. People can also help by supporting a loved one to leave hospital. 

From self-care for stomach bugs to thinking pharmacy first for advice or forgotten medications, to visiting of our 10 minor injury units for something more urgent, NHS Cornwall and Isles of Scilly is reminding residents and visitors to think carefully about which service they need, and not to call 999 or turn up at the emergency department unless an illness or injury is life-threatening.

For those visiting our county, self-care is key! A well-stocked first aid kit could help you avoid a trip to the pharmacist, GP, a minor injury unit or hospital. Useful items to have include paracetamol and aspirin, re-hydration remedies, antiseptic cream antihistamines and plasters.

If you need advice from a GP surgery, your own is still able to help even if you’re away from home. Get in touch with them first and, if needed, they can arrange for a prescription to be collected from a pharmacy near to where you’re staying.

For those who need a friendly face, a warm space or a hot meal this half term, Cornwall’s network of community hubs remain open. The Community Gateway team is available on the phone and can help arrange personalised support for people who need it, or help you to find your nearest hub.

Call 01872 266383 or Email

Open 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

If you think you need medical help, please consider “Where is best?”

6 steps to #HelpUsHelpYou

  1. Visit your local pharmacy for help with allergies, insect bites, stings and emergency contraception. Pharmacists can also provide an emergency supply of most medicines when your GP surgery is closed, even if you are on holiday. Find your nearest open pharmacy. Many urgent medications can now be ordered online for collection at a local pharmacy, by visiting NHS 111 online
  2. Your own GP practice is your best point of contact for ongoing symptoms, even if you are visiting Cornwall for the half term holiday. Your surgery can send a prescription to any pharmacy you choose, for you to collect close to where you are staying. For advice on GP services, visit the NHS Cornwall and Isles of Scilly website
  3. Minor injury units can help with conditions like broken bones and cuts that need stitches, but your nearest one might not be the quickest option. Before you go, check live opening and waiting times
  4. If you need urgent care advice, visit NHS 111 online or call 111. Expert clinicians can direct you to the best service for your needs
  5. If you are worried about your own or someone else’s mental health, Cornwall’s 24/7 mental health helpline can help. Call free on 0800 038 5300. For more mental health support services, visit the NHS Cornwall and Isles of Scilly website
  6. Only call 999 or visit the emergency department if your illness or injury is life-threatening. Examples include chest pain, trouble breathing, severe bleeding, stroke and loss of consciousness

Discharge from hospital

NHS trusts are asking families, friends and neighbours to work with staff to get patients discharged from hospital when they are ready to return to the comfort of their own home.

Fast access, one-off grants known as personal health budgets are available if you need help to get a loved one home from hospital. Funding is available to help cover things such as organising transport home, making minor adaptations in the home such as handrails being installed, and cleaning or decluttering to enable someone to safely remain at home.

Talk to staff on the ward about a one off grant and about community support that’s available, so you can help your loved ones to get back home as soon as they are well enough.

Visit the Where is best? page on the NHS Cornwall and Isles of Scilly website or follow NHS Cornwall on Facebook for news, updates and advice.

For information about support available to help get a loved one home from hospital, see When am I going home? Information about being discharged from hospital.

You can also find out more about Your Community Gateway, including where all of the community hubs are located. Or you can contact the team direct by calling 01872 266383.

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