If you need over the counter medicines, to fill a prescription or seek advice on mental or physical health conditions, there are a number of NHS services available to you over the Easter Holidays.
Pharmacists are trained healthcare professionals who can offer advice on a range of minor ailments and signpost you to the right care in the case of more serious health conditions. Community pharmacists are often open outside GP practice hours and a number in the area are open on Good Friday and Easter Monday.
If you are a parent and have a smartphone or tablet computer, you don’t even need to leave the house to get advice from healthcare professionals – the local NHS is offering a free childhood illness app for both Android and Apple devices that guides you through looking after many common ailments for children at home, with advice on what to do if there are signs of a more serious condition.
You can find more information about the app and downloads links at https://midessexccg.nhs.uk/livewell/startwell/childhood-illnesses. And adults can access similar advice through the NHS website at www.nhs.net.
These services include GP appointments every day of the holiday, including the bank holidays. This is part of the CCG’s Extended Access Scheme, which offers extra GP and nurse appointments 365 days a year.
You can find out more about the scheme by visiting bit.ly/ExtendedAccess. You can book Extended Access appointments in advance at one of four hubs in mid Essex through your own GP surgery or, when they are already closed, by calling 111. (Please note, there is no walk-in service at the hubs.)
There can be more than just physical health needs during Easter, though. The holidays are a stressful time for many people and our new online mental health service at midessexccg.nhs.uk/livewell/mentalhealth can give you a range of tools to help you cope. If you need immediate support away, you can also call the local mental health crisis line on 0330 726 0130 or the Samaritans, free, on 116 123.
And if you have a family member who is showing signs of dementia, you can get advice and support at any stage, before or after they have been diagnosed, by calling our Dementia Intensive Support Service (or DISS) on 01245 515 313.
Anyone, whether a member of the public, care home worker or healthcare professional, can call the number to access one-stop dementia services.