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NWAS Promotes the Use of NHS 111 online During the Easter Bank Holiday Weekend

As Easter approaches, North West Ambulance Service is highlighting the benefit of using NHS 111 online to help with non-urgent health concerns.

Traditionally, Bank Holiday weekends are a busy time for health advisors in the NHS 111 call centres in the North West, as the public has less access to GPs and pharmacies. This can lead to patients waiting longer than usual to speak to a health advisor over the phone. NHS 111 online can supply a wide range of health advice and information without the wait.

It can help with:

  • how to find general health information and advice
  • where to get help for your symptoms if you’re not sure what to do
  • where to get an emergency supply of your prescribed medicine
  • how to get a repeat prescription
  • how to get emergency dental appointments

The online service is not suitable for children under 5 years old; for these cases, it is still recommended to dial 111.

Paul Johnston, Senior Service Delivery Manager for NHS 111, said, “37,000 calls were made to the 111 number in the North West over the 2023 Easter Bank Holiday weekend. In comparison, there were 10,000 fewer calls from Friday to Monday the following weekend. We also know that a high proportion of those calls were made by people who ran out of repeat prescription medication. We would encourage the public to check now that they have enough medicines to make it through the weekend and to make sure they collect any repeat medicines that have been ordered or arrange to have them delivered ahead of the bank holiday.”

Dr Paula Cowan, Regional Medical Director for Primary Care at NHS England – North West said: “We are extremely grateful to the dedicated NHS teams working across the North West this coming Easter bank holiday weekend to ensure all those who need care receive it. The NHS is always there for anyone who needs it. NHS 111 online should be the first port of call for anyone who needs urgent medical advice, as it is quickly and easily accessible. It helps direct people to the right service quickly and provides medical advice. It’s just one of the ways that we are trying to get people to the right service, first time, while keeping urgent and emergency services free for the most seriously ill and injured patients. Urgent and emergency care services will be open over the bank holiday, and in the event of a life or limb threatening emergency, people should call 999.

“Some GP practices and pharmacies will have limited opening hours over the Easter bank holiday, and many will be closed from Friday 29th March to Monday 1st April. Some pharmacies will continue to be open over the Easter bank holiday and members of the public can seek health advice on a range of illness and health concerns from the pharmacy.

To find your nearest open pharmacy please check online Find a pharmacy – NHS ( Think Pharmacy first.


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