Healthcare options reminder for bank holiday weekend

Pointers for anyone needing Birmingham & Solihull NHS serices.

Ahead of the first May bank holiday weekend, people living in Birmingham and Solihull are being reminded of their healthcare options should they or their families feel unwell over the long weekend.

This year the May Day bank holiday was moved to Friday 8th May to coincide with VE Day – the 75th anniversary celebrations of the end of the Second World War in Europe.

Some GP practices across Birmingham and Solihull will be open on Bank Holiday Friday, and patients are advised to call their practice to find out if it is offering appointments. Your GP practice will be providing the service it usually does on the Saturday and Sunday.

Dr Richard Mendelsohn, a Birmingham GP and NHS Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group’s Chief Medical Officer, said: “There are lots of healthcare options available to people in Birmingham and Solihull over this first May bank holiday weekend.

“There are many common illnesses and injuries that can be treated at home, so make sure you have a well-stocked medicine cabinet, to avoid having to venture out during this time of COVID-19 social distancing.

“Good items to have include your usual pain relief, diarrhoea relief, rehydration sachets, antihistamines, and heartburn and indigestion remedies, as well as first aid essentials, such as plasters, dressings, eye wash and bandages.”

Birmingham and Solihull healthcare options:

· COVID-19 Care Assistant: This free 24/7 online service, accessed through Ask A&E and powered by Babylon, offers information on COVID-19 and self-isolating, with a free online symptom checker and access to live chat (8am-8pm) with University Hospital of Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust clinicians.

· Pharmacy: Most community pharmacies will be open from at least 2pm-5pm on Friday 8 May, although some may offer longer opening hours. Local arrangements between neighbouring pharmacies have been permitted where they will result in better access for patients throughout the whole day. Find out where your local pharmacy is, and its opening hours, on the NHS website here. Please do not attend if you have COVID-19 symptoms.

· GP practice: Some GP practices will be open on Bank Holiday Friday. Telephone your practice as normal. If your practice is not open, you will be signposted to an alternative service.

· NHS 111: This is available 24/7 by calling 111 or visiting 111

· Walk-in, urgent care or urgent treatment centres: Locally, some of these options are still available – check on the NHS website to ensure that your local site is open. Do not attend if you have COVID-19 symptoms.