Monday 27 August is the last bank holiday of this summer and NHS Kent and Medway is advising people on how to get healthcare if they need it.
No one wants to spend their precious free time waiting in Accident and Emergency – yet bank holidays every year see a surge of people attending A&E departments with minor illnesses and injuries.
To avoid having to wait in A&E for something simple, find out about services from NHS choices (www.nhs.uk) or NHS Direct (0845 46 47) and have a few things to hand like cream for insect bites, sunscreen and pain killers.
Dr Alison Barnett, Director of Public Health, Medway, said: “A&E departments are highly specialised places for patients who need urgent medical attention and potentially lifesaving care. Waiting around in A&E is not a fun way to spend your bank holiday, especially as we provide excellent care at our Walk-in Centres, Minor Injuries Units and urgent care service, MedOCC, run by Medway community healthcare. By seeking the right kind of care, you are not just helping yourself but also keeping A&E departments free for those who really need them.”
Top tips:
Prevention
Avoid getting sunburnt or overheated by covering up and using sunscreen. Drink plenty of water or juice to avoid dehydration and stay out of the sun when it is at its hottest, from 11am – 3pm. Young children and older people are most at risk from a heatwave.
Self Care
Not all ailments need assistance from an NHS service – a grazed knee, a sore throat, mild sunburn or mild sunstroke may be best treated by staying at home, resting and drinking plenty of fluids. Remember antibiotics do not work on viral infections such as a cough and colds.
A wide range of health services are open over the holiday:
• For absolutely any health questions, around the clock, and to find your local NHS services call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47 or visit http://www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk
• For details of out of hours services, visit http://www.medwaypct.nhs.uk and follow the link
• If you have injuries that may need cleaning, dressing or stitching, the Minor Injuries Units (MIUs) at Sheppey or Sittingbourne will be able to help
• On bank holidays phone MedOCC on 01634 891855
• If you need advice about remedies for common illnesses, ask a pharmacist. Call NHS Direct or visit http://www.nhs.uk to find your nearest open pharmacy.
Remember
Accident and Emergency Departments (A&E) are for life threatening injuries or illnesses only.

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