New Bank Holiday health service

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Health bosses are urging people in Burnley to think about their health care over the upcoming bank holidays.

GP practices will be closed from Friday and will re-open on Tuesday, while pharmacies will be on a limited rota.

While the practices are closed, patients are reminded that they can now call NHS 111 for free from their landline or mobiles.

NHS 111 is a service that is currently being piloted in Burnley. It is designed to create a single point of access for patients who require urgent medical advice but it is not a life threatening situation.

NHS 111 operatives will carry out an assessment of the symptoms which will help ascertain the level and urgency of treatment needed. They will then signpost patients to the relevant service or even deploy an ambulance where appropriate

Charles Thomson, consultant in emergency medicine of East Lancashire Hospitals Trust, said: “When there are long weekends, people have a tendency turn up at the Emergency Department or Urgent Care centres when they could have waited to see their GP or received advice from their pharmacist.

“Now they can phone 111 and receive advice on the best course of action which will prevent unnecessary trips to hospital, reduce waiting times and free up emergency services for those most in need.”

To find out which pharmacies will be open over the bank holiday period go to www.eastlancspct.nhs.uk/patients/feeling-unwell/.