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Use your local pharmacy for minor illnesses during the bank holiday weekend

Residents in the Vale of York are being encouraged to use their local pharmacy if they need help with minor illnesses or ailments during the bank holiday weekend.

With GP practices not open on bank holiday Monday (28 May), those who require help with minor, non-life threatening health concerns should seek help at their nearest open pharmacy.

Pharmacists are highly trained health professionals who can provide many of the same services that GPs do, but on a walk-in basis, meaning you don’t need to book an appointment to see them.

They can offer treatments and free advice on common illnesses and ailments, such as colds, flu, coughs, sore throats, upset stomachs, ear infections, back pain, minor rashes and many more.

They can also answer questions you might have about any medication you’re taking and, if they can't help, they'll let you know whether or not you need to see a doctor or where else you could get the most appropriate treatment.

While pharmacists can help with minor conditions, you should call free 24hr NHS non-emergency number 111 if you have an illness or injury that needs treatment quickly but is not life-threatening. You can now access NHS 111 services on your smartphone by downloading the NHS 111 app (call 111 for instructions on how to do this).

If you have a medical emergency, such as breathing difficulties, chest pains or if you’ve been in a serious accident, call 999 for an ambulance or go to the nearest emergency department, which in the Vale of York is located at York Hospital.

Dr Kevin Smith, Executive Director of Primary Care and Population Health, said: “Every pharmacist is trained in managing minor illnesses and providing health and wellbeing advice, so they are the right person to see for minor health concerns. Using a pharmacy for minor health concerns helps to free up other NHS services, such as A&E departments, so staff there are free to treat real emergencies.

“You should use the NHS 111 helpline service if you urgently need medical help or advice when it is not a life-threatening situation, or call 999 if you have a medical emergency, such as breathing difficulties, chest pains or if you’ve been in a serious accident.”

Below is a comprehensive timetable showing which Vale of York pharmacies (in York and Selby) are open on bank holiday Monday.

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