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With the August bank holiday weekend fast approaching, the NHS in Somerset is asking people to make sure they are prepared and where possible to plan ahead; helping to reduce any extra demand on the NHS during this busy period.

Iain Chorlton, Clinical Lead – Urgent and Emergency Care, NHS Somerset said

“We understand that August is an incredibly busy time for a lot of people, with children off school and holidays to enjoy. We also want to make sure people can enjoy their break without having to worry about how and where they can receive healthcare advice and guidance if needed.”

“While some pharmacies and healthcare settings are opening as usual over the bank holiday, most GP practices will be closed for three days from Friday 26 August until Tuesday 30 August.”

It is also important that individuals who have repeat prescriptions, have enough medicine to see them through this period, and if not to make sure they order well in advance to allow GP practices time to process them.”

The NHS is here for anyone who needs it, but to help people access the healthcare they need, the NHS in Somerset has put together some advice to help people choose the right health service for their needs.

Visiting or calling NHS 111 will help people to get the right medical advice or treatment more quickly and, if needed, they will be able to arrange for individuals to be seen safely by the service that best meets their healthcare needs.

For those with minor illnesses, including hay fever, coughs and colds, skin infections as well as aches and pains, people are reminded to speak to their local pharmacist. As qualified healthcare professionals, pharmacists can advise on a wide range of minor health conditions, offering clinical advice and over-the-counter medicines. Opening hours for pharmacies across Somerset can be found on the NHS England website.

For injuries which are not life-threatening there are also a number of Minor Injury Units in Somerset which can help with a wide range of conditions including broken bones, throat and chest infections, eye infections, urinary infections, emergency contraception, sprains, and strains, as well as wounds and bites.

For life-threatening emergencies, people should continue to call 999 or go to their nearest A&E. If in doubt call NHS 111 for advice, they can assess what level of care you need and arrange for you to be seen at a local emergency department, if suitable.

For those who need to speak to a GP while away from home over the holidays, people are reminded that they can contact their own GP practice during opening hours in the first instance. They will be able to offer an online consultation and advice. This advice also applies to visitors travelling to Somerset. All GP practices now offer remote consultations and can be contacted for advice if needed.

Health advice and information is also available on the NHS website or from your local GP practice website which links to a range of online services and, in most cases, you can order repeat prescriptions online. For children’s health advice download the HANDi App, available for Android phones on Google Play or on the App store for iPhone and iPad.

Find your nearest pharmacy and its opening times:

For information on how your pharmacy can help you visit our pharmacy page on this website.

For information on choosing the right service for your needs visit our choose well page on this website.

For full pharmacy rotas over the August bank holiday in the southwest, see:

See Minor Injury Unit opening times: