Health and social care services over the Easter bank holiday

Chris Brennan

Reporter:

Chris Brennan

Email:

chris.brennan@newrydemocrat.com

As the lockdown continues and more people spend time in their homes and gardens, the health and social care system is calling on people to be careful when carrying out DIY and gardening activities and for parents to keep an eye on their children when playing on trampolines or other play equipment.

This will help reduce the number of people getting injured and requiring urgent medical treatment at a time when hospital resources and staff have to treat patients during the coronavirus pandemic.

Some key advice:

1) When using gardening equipment, use goggles to protect your eyes

2) Avoid risky DIY projects using power tools and saws

3) Be very careful when using lawn mowers and strimmers, keep your hands away from moving blades and parts.

4) Make sure you use all recommended protective gear and are familiar with the equipment before using it

5) Supervise children while on trampolines and outdoor play equipment

If you are worried about COVID-19 (Coronavirus), follow the latest guidance from the Public Health Agency.

This Easter, there will be some changes to GP and community pharmacy opening hours to support an expected increase in demand on hospital services during the pandemic.

If you have a mild or minor illness, you can find information about a range of common illnesses using the online symptom search. Remember, most of these can be treated with over the counter medicines and plenty of rest and whether treated or not, most of these will get better.

GPs

· GP surgeries will provide an urgent care service to patients by phone on Easter Monday (13th April) and Easter Tuesday (14th April).

· GP Out of Hours will be available from 6pm on Good Friday (10th April), over the Easter weekend until 830am on Easter Monday 13th April).

· GP Out of Hours will be available from 6pm to 8am on Easter Monday and Easter Tuesday.

· The GP-led COVID Centres, which are already seeing patients, will continue to operate during the entire Easter bank holiday period. Patients have to be referred to these centres by their GPs.

Community Pharmacies

To cope with the increased demand for pharmacy services, a number of community pharmacies will be open for half days on Easter Monday and Tuesday. Please check the community pharmacy rota and click on each town to check details of pharmacies which are open.

Dental Practices

Dental practices are particularly impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as most dental procedures are aerosol-generating, which means they release airborne particles which can result in the spread of infection.

All dental practices have been told to stop providing these procedures during the pandemic.

If you experience a dental problem, please call your dentist first and you will be assessed over the phone, given advice or a prescription or referred to an Urgent Dental Care clinic.

Optometry practices (Opticians)

If you have any concerns about your eyes, including an urgent eye problem, or a query about your glasses or contact lenses, please telephone your local optometry practice.

Minor Injuries Unit

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 at: https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/minor-injuries-units

Out of hours Emergency Social Work Service

If you have a social care emergency which cannot wait until the next working day, please call the Regional Emergency Social Work Service 028 9504 9999.

You should always call 999 if someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk. If you or someone you know is in distress or despair call Lifeline on 0800 808 8000.

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