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Choose Well – if you need to use health and care services over the July holiday

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The Health and Social Care Board together with Trusts, local GPs, pharmacists and dentists have been working to ensure that local people have access to urgent care services over the July holiday period. The following health and care arrangements will be in place should you or a member of your family become ill or have an accident. More details as well as information on how to use your health service can be found at www.nidirect.gov.uk/choosewell.

As part of the Choose Well campaign, we encourage everyone to “think where and choose well”. Choosing the service most appropriate to your symptoms will mean you get the right treatment in the right place.
Self-care is the best choice to treat minor illnesses, ailments and injuries. A range of common illnesses such as aches and pains, coughs, colds, upset stomachs and sore throats can be treated with over the counter medicines and plenty of rest. Remember, whether treated or not, most of these will get better.

Your local pharmacist can provide confidential, expert advice and treatment for a range of common illnesses and complaints. Please remember to order any essential repeat prescription medications from your daytime GP surgery in advance of the holiday period. GP out of hours will only provide repeat prescriptions in exceptional circumstances. For more information log onto: www.nidirect.gov.uk/choosewell.

Out of hours GP Service
The GP out of hours service is available if you require urgent medical care when your daytime GP surgery is closed. Remember to telephone the service first. The doctor or nurse will give you advice over the telephone, decide if you need to be seen by a doctor or will refer you to another service if required. The GP out of hours service will be operating for all GP Practices on Monday 13 July. Normal weekend GP out of hours service will be operating on Friday 10th, Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th July. Details of your local GP out of hours can be found at: www.nidirect.gov.uk/choosewell.

Out of hours Dental Services
Details of dental services will be displayed at dental surgeries or can be obtained by contacting your dentist. Relief of Dental Pain Clinics are for the treatment of dental emergencies only, including trauma, swelling, uncontrolled bleeding and severe pain.
For out of hours urgent dental problems, you should contact your dental surgery or visit: www.hscboard.hscni.net/news/EmergencyDentalServices.html for details of your nearest Relief of Dental Pain Clinic.

Out of hours Emergency Social Work Service
The out of hours Regional Emergency Social Work Service is available for social
work emergencies that cannot wait until the next working day and can be contacted
on 028 9504 9999.

Emergency Mental Health Services
If you are being treated for a mental illness, you should have a care plan. Your care
plan has names and numbers to call in an emergency. People experiencing mental
or emotional crisis who are not in receipt of services should seek help quickly by
contacting their GP out of hours service. If the person requires emergency medical
treatment they should go to their nearest Emergency Department. People in distress
or despair can also call Lifeline free, in confidence, 24/7 on 0808 808 8000.

Minor Injuries Unit
A minor injuries unit can treat injuries that are not critical or life threatening, such as
injuries to upper and lower limbs, broken bones, sprains, bruises and wounds, burns
and scalds, bites, cuts and wounds and eye injuries. Further details about the service
including locations and opening hours can be found at:

Emergency Departments
Emergency Departments provide the highest level of emergency care for patients,
especially those with sudden and acute illness or severe trauma. Normal Emergency
Department services will be operating throughout the holiday period as usual. The
service is for those in need of emergency treatment.

999 Ambulance Services
As always, the emergency ambulance service will be there if you need it. Always dial
999 when there is a risk to life or of serious injury. But, if your call is not an
emergency, then please use the most appropriate service and help keep the 999
system clear for life threatening emergencies. Remember, you could risk a life if you
tie up an emergency line for a non-emergency call. Your call could delay someone
with a real emergency. Keep emergency lines free.

Please make sure you Choose Well and get the right treatment for you and
your family and help manage your health service resources.