NHS Somerset urges the public to be well prepared to enjoy the Easter holidays.

Are you ready for the Easter break? While many of us will be busy making sure our food cupboards are stocked and making plans with friends and family, the NHS in Somerset is asking people to consider their health and care needs and to make sure they are prepared in advance of the extended weekend.

This is especially important given that planned industrial action is taking place from 11 April.

While some pharmacies and healthcare settings will be open as usual during this period, most GP practices will be closed on Friday 7 April and Monday 10 April. 

Dr Bernie Marden, Chief Medical Officer at NHS Somerset, said “We want to make sure people are prepared in advance not only to avoid unnecessary worry, but also to help ensure care is available for those who need it the most.”

 “We know that bank holiday periods can add extra pressure on health and care services, especially with some services closing during the break.”

“It is important that people know which service they should use for their healthcare need, and for those who take regular medication that they have made sure they have enough to last them and if not have ordered their prescription in plenty of time.”

To make it even easier patients can use the NHS app to order repeat prescriptions.  This not only quicker and easier for the patient, but it also frees up practice lines for those needing to book urgent appointments before Easter.”

“We want everyone to have a happy and healthy break. The NHS is always here for anyone who needs us, but we are also asking people to help us by being prepared and choosing the right healthcare service for their needs.”

NHS Somerset health bosses have also said, “While the situation may change in advance of Tuesday 11 April, we are keen to make sure people are prepared in advance of the impending Junior Doctor industrial action planned for Tuesday 11 April.”

“While the NHS in Somerset is committed to keeping where possible, disruption to services to a minimum, we are also asking the public to carefully consider what healthcare support they need and to services wisely. This will allow us to prioritise those with the most urgent healthcare needs.”

“While it is possible that non-urgent routine appointments and procedures may be cancelled during this time. Those who have a planned appointment date when industrial action is taking place should continue to attend as normal, unless they are informed by the NHS that there is a need to reschedule.”

“Regardless of any industrial action taking place patients who need urgent medical care should continue to come forward, especially in emergency and life-threatening cases – when someone is seriously ill or injured, or their life is at risk.”

“We would like to thank our colleagues who will be working hard during the Easter break and throughout the planned industrial action to keep services running and to care for patients.”

People can visit  Injured or unwell? Choose Well – NHS Somerset  to find out more about the healthcare services and apps available to all.