On holiday in Cornwall? – NHS Cornwall and Isles of Scilly

If you’re on holiday in Cornwall and not feeling well, there are a range of local health and care services available to help you.

Bring a well stocked medicine first aid kit

If you’re staying away from home in self-contained accommodation whilst on holiday in Cornwall, make sure that you’ve got some essentials with you including plasters, paracetamol, antiseptic, and order enough of your regular medication from your own GP ahead of your stay away.

Think pharmacy first

Across Cornwall the majority of local pharmacists will be able to assess and treat patients, without the need for a GP appointment or prescription, for 7 common conditions:

  • sinusitis
  • sore throat
  • earache
  • infected insect bite
  • impetigo
  • shingles
  • uncomplicated urinary tract infections in women (under the age of 65)

Local pharmacies also offer a Pharmacy Contraception Service, offering women the chance to get a supply of oral contraception over the counter without needing to first see their GP

Did you know? You can order your prescription from your own doctor to be collected from a local pharmacy here!

Find a local pharmacy – NHS (www.nhs.uk)

Our Minor Injury Units and Urgent Treatment Centres

If your injury or ailment is not serious, you can get help from one of ten Minor Injury Unit or Urgent Treatment Centre in the area

Most are open every day, including weekends and on evenings. You don’t need to make an appointment; you can just turn up during the opening times to be  seen by staff.

Minor Injury Units (MIUs) and Urgent Treatment Centres (UTCs) are there to help with injuries that need attention urgently but are not critical or life-threatening, such as cuts that need stiches, arm, foot and leg injuries including broken bones, bites, minor burns and scalds as well as eye problems .

They’re in convenient places and you can be seen much more quickly than at A&E.

Check live waiting and opening times before you go

Please check the opening hours and live wait times before you visit – as your nearest won’t always be the quickest:

Forgot your medication?

Contact your own GP surgery if you forget to renew your prescription or bring your medication on holiday. They can send a prescription to any pharmacy you choose, for you to collect close to where you are staying.  

If your GP surgery is closed, pharmacists can arrange an emergency supply of medicines if you forget to renew your prescription or bring your medication on holiday, even if you don’t live in Cornwall. You can also order a prescription online.

Need health advice whilst on holiday in Cornwall?

Anyone who is visiting Cornwall is asked to call their own GP, and not the one closest to where they’re staying, if they need non-urgent advice. They are used to helping by phone, video, and email. If you need a prescription, your surgery can send it to any pharmacy you choose, for you to collect close to where you are staying.

For people who need non-urgent care when their own GP is not open, and don’t think they can wait, use the NHS 111 online service or call 111, at any time day or night.

Please do not turn up at a minor injuries unit or urgent treatment centre without contacting 111 first. If, after contacting 111, you need to go to a hospital, you will be given an arrival time, which will help everyone continue to follow government guidance, maintain distance and keep people safe while COVID continues to circulate.

Anyone with serious or life-threatening illnesses or injuries should dial 999.

Beach safety

Around half the people who die at the coast slip, trip or fall into the water. If you see someone in trouble, call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.

When you’re heading to a beach, visit a life guarded beach. On life guarded beaches there are trained professionals to help keep you safe. They’ll be on hand if something goes wrong, in or out of the water.

If you spot someone in trouble and have something that floats, or they can hold onto, throw it to them. Don’t enter the water. Too many people die trying to save others.

If you’ve been drinking alcohol, keep safe and don’t go in the water.

For more beach safety advice visit the Beachwise website.

Coastal walking

The coasts of Cornwall are beautiful and wild, and there to be explored. Coastal walking is a very safe activity most of the time, but it is important to be aware of the risks. Slips and falls happen in all locations. It’s not just high cliff edges that are a risk.

  • Be wary of all edges around the sea and waterside.
  • Always let someone know where you are going and when you expect to be back.
  • Always take a means of calling for help.
  • Keep dogs on a lead if you’re close to cliff edges. If they go into the water, don’t go after them.

If you’re in trouble, call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.

Read more coastal walking safety tips.

Sun safety

Sunburn can ruin your holiday and increase the risk of skin cancer in later life. Keep safe this summer and follow the 5 S’s of sun safety.

  1. Sunscreen: slop on SPF 30+ broad-spectrum waterproof sunscreen every 2 hours.
  2. Sun hat: slap on a broad-brimmed hat that shades your face, neck and ears and keep children covered up.
  3. Sunglasses: wear wrap-around sunglasses with UV protection
  4. Shoulders: slip on a T-shirt or UV protective suit for children and keep shoulders covered.
  5. Shade: seek shade, particularly from 11am to 3pm when UV rays are at their strongest.

Page last reviewed: 12 February 2024

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