Information from Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group on GP surgeries and pharmacies over this Easter weekend…

General Practice will be working as usual on Good Friday and Easter Monday in order to provide care to people who need it.

Please do not turn up at your local GP practice without an appointment. Contact the practice by phone or complete an eConsult form via the practice website. GPs will call patients back and may be able to offer video consultation. Face to face assessments will be offered after the telephone call if needed, and clear information will be given about the time and place of these appointments. It may be at a different venue from the one you normally attend.

If you are taken ill over the upcoming long weekend, more than ever it is important to know where you can get help and how to access local services.

Pharmacies will be opening over the weekend, however please check opening times either online via www.nhs.uk or over the phone before you leave the house. Please don’t go to your local pharmacy if you are showing symptoms of COVID-19 – visit 111.nhs.uk. In common with the rest of the healthcare system, pharmacies are currently under huge pressure, working round the clock to make sure customer get the medicines they need. Often they are having to limit the numbers of people in the stores, so please be patient if you are required to wait and please observe social distancing guidance.

The long weekends are usually very busy and this year the NHS 111 service is expecting a higher volume of calls than normal. You can help ease the pressure on the service where possible by using the online service 111.nhs.uk.

Minor Injuries Units (MIUs) have recently moved to providing telephone support and only offering face-to-face appointments only where strictly necessary, to help reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus. If you have an ailment or injury which requires urgent care, please call 111 or 01305 762541 and you will be given advice or – if necessary – booked in for a face-to-face appointment at the appropriate site.

For more information on MIUs visit www.dorsethealthcare.nhs.uk.

Dorset’s Emergency Departments (A&E) remain open 24/7 for serious conditions and injuries. Please use our Emergency Departments appropriately though – anyone attending an Emergency Department inappropriately is likely to be turned away and directed to other local health services.

In an emergency please call 999 as normal.

For regular updates about hospital and community services in Dorset, go to the following websites:

Dorset County Hospital: dchft.nhs.uk
Dorset HealthCare: dorsethealthcare.nhs.uk/
Poole Hospital: poole.nhs.uk/
Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals: rbch.nhs.uk/
Find you nearest pharmacy and its opening times here: https://www.nhs.uk/service-search/find-a-pharmacy

For full pharmacy rotas over Easter, see: https://www.england.nhs.uk/south/info-professional/pharm-info/pharmacy-opening-hours/

Remember: Stay home, protect the NHS, save lives