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Know where to go for NHS care in north east London this Easter

Knowing the best place to go for NHS care this Easter weekend can help you find the treatment you need more quickly, doctors in north east London (NEL) have advised.

Last year, nearly 10,000 people in NEL attended A&E over the four day Easter weekend and it is expected to be just as busy this bank holiday weekend.

If you are unsure whether you need urgent medical care, contacting NHS 111 online or over the phone remains the best first port of call, as a trained adviser can direct you to the right place.

Using your local pharmacy or GP where appropriate will allow you to receive treatment in a more comfortable environment and means those needing life-saving care can be seen sooner.

GP appointments are available seven days a week in the evening, on weekends and on bank holidays. Call your practice, or if is closed, call NHS 111 to book.

Many local pharmacies will continue to be open over the bank holiday weekend. Most minor health conditions can be treated at home or with the help of local pharmacists. There are many over-the-counter medications which can be used to alleviate symptoms of viruses such as cold or flu without needing to use antibiotics.

People are also being reminded to make sure they have enough medication to last them over the Easter weekend. You can find an open, late night pharmacy on the NHS London website, as well as the NHS Find a Pharmacy site.

If you live in Barking and Dagenham or Havering  you can also get help with minor injuries and illnesses at our community Urgent Treatment Centres at Barking Community Hospital and Harold Wood Polyclinic, which are open 8am-9pm, seven days a week. You can call NHS 111 to book an appointment or walk in and wait to be seen and do not need to be registered with a GP.

If you think you need urgent dental treatment, contact your dentist. If you cannot contact your dentist or don’t have one, contact NHS 111 who can help you book an urgent appointment with an out-of-hours service.

Dr Jagan John, a local GP and board member at NHS North East London, said:

“While many NHS services will still be open over the bank holiday, we know they will be busier. So it is important that you know where to go if you need help, and to look out for yourself and loved ones to avoid any preventable trips to A&E.

“If you need urgent medical attention, contact NHS 111 first as they can get you the care you need fast. From booking an urgent GP appointment, finding an emergency dentist, or providing healthcare advice – they can get you the treatment you need in the right place at the right time.

“Your local pharmacist can also help with minor illnesses, and please make sure to stock up on any medicines you need. Remember, our emergency departments will be extremely busy and should only be used in a life-threatening emergency.”

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