People are being asked to check their medication supplies and to visit NHS 111 online first (www.111.nhs.uk) for health advice over what is expected to be a busy period for NHS services during the Easter bank holiday (7-10 April) and until the end of junior doctor strike action (11-15 April).
The urgent call for the public’s help comes from Bradford District and Craven Health and Care Partnership – made up of local NHS organisations, local councils, independent care organisations and the voluntary and community sector – that serves a population of around 650,000 people.
Helen Farmer, Director for Access to Care at Bradford District and Craven Health and Care Partnership, said: “NHS teams across Bradford District and Craven continue to work hard to minimise disruption from the industrial action, but we are expecting a significant impact on local health services.
“We are asking the public to use NHS 111 Online as the first port of call for health needs and continue to only call 999 if it’s life-threatening.
“People should continue to attend any scheduled hospital appointments unless the NHS has contacted them to rearrange. Most GP services will be also running as normal on strike days. People should continue to attend GP appointments, unless contacted and told otherwise.”
Regardless of any strike action, anyone who needs emergency care should forward in the normal way – calling 999 or going to your nearest A&E department – when someone is seriously ill or injured, or their life is at risk.
Health advice and information is available from NHS 111, which can be accessed by phone or online at www.111.nhs.uk. It can tell you where and how to get help for your symptoms and arrange a telephone call with a healthcare professional if appropriate. You can also use the NHS website to find an open pharmacy near you.
People are being encouraged to have a small stock of basic medicines in case needed for minor illnesses or injuries and are advised to ask local pharmacists for advice on what medicines to keep at home.
Emotional support is also available over this period through Guide-Line between 8am and 12am on 08001 884 884 or the Healthy Minds website to get help. For 24/7 urgent mental health crisis support, people should contact First Response on 08009521181.