The local NHS is reminding people that they can still access urgent care over the Bank Holiday weekend at any time – including on Bank Holiday Monday (30 August) when GP practices will be closed.
Patients needing a face-to-face appointment with a health professional are being asked to contact NHS 111 First, who will help direct people to the most appropriate service for treatment.
NHS 111 is staffed by a team of trained professionals and clinicians who will provide instant over the phone triage, and can offer pre-booked face to face appointment slots with an out of hours GP, or a local hospital A&E department if required.
This system is in place to help ensure patients get the care they need as quickly and easily as possible, and will also enable them to safely socially distanced while they wait to be seen.
However, people should still dial 999 as normal in a medical emergency, when someone is seriously injured, their life is at risk.
Alternatively, patients can also attend a local NHS Walk-in Centre. They are open from early until late (8am-8pm) – seven days a week. You can find your nearest Walk-in centre and book an appointment now by calling: 0300 100 1004.
All of the Liverpool NHS Walk-in centres now also have a specialist paediatric nurse on duty at each site, who can provide treatment and care for under 16 year olds – providing added peace of mind for parents and carers.
Dr Tristan Cope, Medical Director at Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said:
“Currently our hospital A&E departments are experiencing significant pressure, and we expect the bank holiday weekend to be an exceptionally busy period for our staff. Unless it is a serious or life-threatening emergency situation, we would urge people to not turn up to our hospitals without an appointment.
“Instead, we ask patients to contact NHS 111 first to book an appointment slot. This really is the best way to be seen quickly, avoid long waits in our A&E departments, and receive the care that you need.”
People are also reminded that they can get advice and treatment for lots of minor illnesses and ailments from a local pharmacy – without the need for an appointment. Many local pharmacies will still be open over the bank holiday, but please check with your local branch about opening times.
To access NHS 111, go to 111.nhs.uk or dial 111 at any time – it operates 24 hours a day, every day.
BSL users can use the NHS 111 video interpreter service by going to www.interpreternow.co.uk/nhs111.