‘Choose well’ for correct health and care services

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‘Choose well’ is the message from the Northern Health and Social Care Board to access the correct services during the Easter holiday period.

Health professionals say that self care is the best choice to treat minor illnesses, ailments and injuries.

A range of common illnesses such as aches and pains, coughs, colds, upset stomachs and sore throats can be treated with over the counter medicines and plenty of rest.

A local pharmacist can provide confidential, expert advice and treatment for a range of common illnesses and complaints. Remember to order any essential repeat prescription medications from your GP surgery in advance of the holiday period. GP out of hours will only provide repeat prescriptions in exceptional circumstances.

The GP out of hours service is available for urgent medical care whensurgeries are closed. Remember to telephone the service first.

The doctor or nurse will give you advice over the telephone, decide if you need to be seen by a doctor or will refer you to another service if required.

The GP out of hours service will be operating for all GP practices from 6.00 pm on Friday April 18 until GP practices open on Wednesday April 23.

Details of dental services will be displayed at dental surgeries or can be obtained by contacting your dentist.

For out of hours urgent dental problems, you should contact your dental surgery. The relief of dental pain clinic is for the treatment of dental emergencies only, including trauma, swelling, uncontrolled bleeding and severe pain.

The out of hours emergency social work service is available outside normal office hours and on weekends, Bank holidays and public holidays for genuine emergencies that cannot wait until the next working day. You can contact the Regional Emergency Social Work Service on 028 9504 9999.

A minor injuries unit can treat injuries that are not critical or life threatening, such as injuries to upper and lower limbs, broken bones, sprains, bruises and wounds, burns and scalds, bites, cuts and wounds and eye injuries.

Further details about the service including locations and opening hours can be found on the nidirect website.

Emergency departments provide the highest level of emergency care for patients, especially those with sudden and acute illness or severe trauma. Normal emergency department services will be operating throughout the holiday period as usual. The service is for those in need of emergency treatment.

For full details on all services, see www.nidirect .gov.uk/choosewell

As always, the emergency ambulance service will be there if you need it. Always dial 999 when there is a risk to life or of serious injury.But, if your call is not an emergency, then please use the most appropriate service. and help keep the 999 system clear for life threatening emergencies. Remember, you could risk a life if you tie up an emergency line for a non-emergency call.

Your call could delay someone with a real emergency. Keep emergency lines free.