Know your healthcare options this summer bank holiday

With just GP practices closed over the summer bank holiday (26-28 August) and upcoming strike action from consultants (24-24 August) in the NHS, local people and visitors are being reminded about the healthcare options available to them.

Dr Joanne Medhurst, Chief Medical Officer at NHS Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire ICB, said:

“The best healthcare option is prevention. By taking simple steps, such as topping up your repeat prescriptions and ensuring you have a well-stocked medicine cabinet, you can be well placed to prevent illnesses from escalating and continue to enjoy your bank holiday the way you intended.”

Urgent care options – including emergency pharmacists – are also available if you need them with NHS 111 available online and by phone for anyone who needs urgent healthcare support and isn’t sure where to go.

Finally A&E and 999 are always there for life-threatening emergencies but should only be used in the most serious cases.

Dr Joanne Medhurst added:

“Bank holidays are normally a busy time for health and care services, and with strikes planned on Thursday and Friday, we are expecting services to be under increased pressure ahead of the weekend.

“Local people can play their part to help reduce pressures on services by only using 999 and A&E for genuine life-threatening emergencies and using NHS 111 online or by phone for other urgent care needs or if you’re unsure about whether you should go to hospital.

“If you have an appointment on either of the strike days, please continue to come forward for the care you need. Please don’t call to check if your appointment is going ahead, you’ll be contacted directly if it needs to be rearranged.”

More information about industrial action is available on the NHS Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board website.

Ordering repeat prescriptions can be done online, or via the NHS App, with many GP practices, who can also send prescriptions directly to local pharmacies for collection. Getting prescriptions online can save time and help avoid unnecessary trips to the GP.

A list of pharmacies and their opening times over the bank holiday weekend can be found on the ICB website.

For urgent advice and help in accessing the right service, contact NHS 111 at any time or visit to find services near you.