IN the rush to buy Easter eggs or tools for all those bank holiday DIY jobs, it’s easy to forget to stock up on health essentials to get you through the bank holiday break (Friday, 25 to Monday, 28 March). The NHS in Liverpool is urging people to examine your options when accessing support and making sure any prescribed medication won’t run out during the bank holiday. Some people are also continuing to visit accident and emergency departments with a range of conditions that could be treated by their GP, pharmacist or walk in centre. NHS 111 provides round the clock non-emergency health advice, or can refer you to a GP when your own practice is closed out of hours. You can also visit the Nurse-led walk-in centres across the city, without an appointment, for the treatment of cuts, bruises, minor infections, stomach upsets, strains and skin complaints. Pharmacists are experts in providing medical information and advice, including coughs, colds, wheezing and minor ailments, and may have private consultation areas. They can also advise on any over-the-counter remedies and point you in the right direction if you need specialist medical advice. Stocking up on over-the-counter essentials such as paracetamol or aspirin, plasters, remedies for upset stomachs and making sure any prescriptions won’t run out during the weekend could save you time and a journey to find a pharmacist or a GP. The NHS Choices website www.nhs.uk has details of your nearest open pharmacy in the ‘Find and Choose Services’ section. Local GP, Dr Fiona Lemmens, said: said: “As the four day Easter break approaches, we’re asking everyone to make sure they’re prepared to deal with any minor illnesses. Take a couple of minutes to check that you have essentials such as aspirin and rehydration powders to treat diarrhoea and sickness. If you take regular medication, make sure you have enough to see you through the long weekend, or arrange a fresh prescription with your GP practice. “Please do not visit accident and emergency departments unless you need urgent care. It’s really important that emergency departments are kept free for those patients with serious or life-threatening injuries. You can also call NHS 111 or visit your pharmacist if you need health advice.” Ensure your medicine cabinet is well stocked Your local pharmacist can advise you on a range of everyday items you can have in your medicine cabinet to help you treat any minor injuries at home. Minor injuries such as small burns, scratches, cuts and bruises can be treated very effectively at home with pain relief, antiseptic cream, wipes, plasters and bandages. Pharmacists can also offer advice about any over-the-counter remedies or prescription medicine. If you need advice about any minor injury, are not sure which service to use or what is open over Easter, you can contact NHS 111 by dialling 111 or to simply go online at examineyouroptions.info to find out more about opening times for local health services including local walk-in centres and GP out-of-hours services. You should only call an emergency ambulance or visit to your local A&E department if you think your injury is serious and life threatening. Be safe this Easter!