Local NHS services ready to provide help and care this bank holiday weekend


The NHS in Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire will be open for those who need it this bank holiday weekend.

That is the message from the region’s health leaders who are advising people who fall ill or become injured over the weekend not to wait until after the bank holiday to receive help.

Although GP practices and the majority of pharmacies will be closed on Monday 29 August, people are advised not to wait until the Tuesday to seek help if their condition requires attention, as delaying care could make symptoms worse.

The region’s minor injuries units, which are located in Chippenham, Paulton, Swindon and Trowbridge, will be open throughout Bank Holiday Monday, with teams at the sites able to provide help for non-life-threatening conditions, such as sprains, minor burns and insect or animal bites.

A select number of community pharmacies across the region will also be open for any person needing emergency medication, information on over-the-counter treatments or a discussion with a pharmacist about a minor health issue.

Most pharmacy buildings have a private consultation room in which the trained pharmacist can carry out quick assessments, before offering a diagnosis and a suggested course of treatment.

Dr Francis Campbell, a Swindon-based GP and the Integrated Care Board’s Partner Member for Primary Care, said: “When a person becomes ill or injured, it’s important to seek appropriate help as quickly as possible.

“Delaying treatment, even just for a few days, could make things worse, and can lead to a person becoming unwell and needing a more intense level of treatment.

“Situations such as these have the potential to create additional demand for busy frontline teams in the days following a bank holiday, which is why people should always seek help early on from the most appropriate service.”

Many minor health conditions can be treated effectively at home, either through rest or with items that can be bought over-the-counter, such as paracetamol, anti-diarrhoea tablets and oral rehydration sachets.

Detailed information on how to treat common injuries and illness at home can be found on the NHS website, which is available at www.nhs.uk.

People experiencing a genuine life-threatening emergency, such as severe chest pain, loss of consciousness or heavy bleeding, should call 999 or visit the nearest hospital emergency department.

More information about the health and care services available across Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire can be found at www.bsw.icb.nhs.uk.