In advance of the first May Bank Holiday on Monday, May 6, South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust is asking its local communities to help it manage pressure on services.

Dr Shaz Wahid is the Executive Medical Director of the Trust. He said: “We hope everyone enjoys the extended weekend, but for our teams in urgent and emergency care, it means business as usual and they’ll be working around the clock.

“They will be on hand to help treat those most in need of our care. They need to be able to focus on those who are most unwell or seriously hurt.

“Anyone else might face a very long wait and there’s a chance they may still be asked to seek care elsewhere in the NHS, so think wisely about whether the Emergency Department or our Urgent Treatment Centres are the best place to go.”

Dr Wahid has advice to help people to prepare for the long weekend. He added: “If it’s an emergency, we are here to help you, but otherwise NHS 111 Online is a great place to start.

“It will tell you where to seek help if you need to be seen and it can offer advice on what treatment you do need, while pharmacies will be available during the weekend.

“The Find a Pharmacy page online is a quick and easy way to find one open near you. It’s worth looking to see if you need to order any of your repeat prescriptions and get your request in now so there’s time to get it ahead of the Bank Holiday.

“GP surgeries also offer extended access appointments during weekends and out of hours and may be able to help if you are feeling unwell. Of course, it’s always a good idea to make sure your cupboards are stocked with medicines and supplies, so if you’re out shopping, add those to your list.”

Health advice and information is also available via the NHS App or the NHS website, or from your local GP practice website, which link to a range of online services.
In most cases, you can order repeat prescriptions online or through the app.

For children’s health advice you can download the Little Orange Book – with tips about a wide range of illnesses and conditions via this link.

Those looking after children can also visit the Healthier Together website through this link or download the app via their phone.

British Sign Language (BSL) speakers can make a BSL video call to 999.

Deaf people can use 18000 to contact 999 using text relay.

If you are concerned about how much you, or someone you know, drinks, there’s lots of help available.

Speak to your GP, find your local alcohol support service, or contact Drinkline on freephone 0300 123 1110 or Alcoholics Anonymous on 0845 769 7555.

To visit the NHS Find a Pharmacy page click here.