Many GP practices in Tameside and Glossop will be closed on Bank Holiday Monday, 31 August, and local residents are being advised to contact their local pharmacy first for treatment.
Pharmacists are experts in medicines who can help with a minor health concern. As qualified professionals, they can offer clinical advice and over-the-counter medicines for a range of minor illnesses, such as cough, colds, sore throats, tummy trouble and aches and pains.
People can speak to a pharmacist in confidence, in a private area, about the most personal symptoms, and should telephone their usual pharmacy before travelling as opening times may vary on the bank holiday Monday. Anyone needing to order and collect repeat prescriptions is advised to do this in good time to avoid running out of medicine.
To reduce the demand and pressure on the pharmacy delivery services, if someone is feeling unwell and self-isolating they should ask friends, relatives or neighbours to collect medicines in the first instance. Alternatively, if they have no support available, a list of pharmacies offering a delivery service is available.
Anyone with a health condition that cannot be treated by a pharmacist should call NHS 111 or go online to www.111.nhs.uk, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Or if this is difficult and the need is urgent, people can visit the Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC) at the Tameside Hospital site which includes walk-in access. The centre is open 9am to 9pm every day of the year.
Anyone with coronavirus symptoms, no matter how mild, needs to self-isolate for at least 10 days from when their symptoms started and get a test immediately, so that it’s within five days of being symptomatic. To book a test or order a home testing kit, head to www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or call 119.
Residents are advised not to visit their GP practice, pharmacy or hospital if they have symptoms or are showing signs of coronavirus e.g. a high temperature, a continuous cough or loss of, or a change in your normal sense of smell.
Dr Asad Ali, Co-Chair at NHS Tameside and Glossop Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “The Primary Care Access Service (PCAS) provided by gtd Healthcare also provides flexible appointment times outside traditional GP working hours. When GP practices are closed, patients who have had a clinical assessment and require urgent but not life-threatening assistance may be offered an appointment at one of the neighbourhood hubs. Patients can access the service through their GP practice, NHS 111, North West Ambulance Service crews and other healthcare professionals.
“Please follow all government announcements on self-isolation and social distancing; continue to avoid close contact and remain socially distant from anyone you do not live with or who is not in your support bubble-even inside other people’s homes; wear a face covering in enclosed public spaces where social distancing is difficult; stay two metres (6ft) away from other people; wash your hands as soon as you get home and protect yourselves and others.”
For a full list of pharmacy opening times and delivery service plus other available health care services including emergency support, visit https://www.tamesideandglossopccg.org/accessingcare.