Got a Right Royal Weekend planned? How to avoid swapping your Jubilee for ED

While the country has a Right Royal Weekend to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee, NHS teams across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight will be ready to help you avoid swapping a street party for a waiting room.

Thousands of NHS and pharmacy staff will be at work or on call over the four-day weekend, ready to help anyone who needs them. That network of support makes it easier than ever to get speedy help away from busy Emergency Departments – and avoid turning a health drama into a Jubilee crisis.

Although the country will be firmly in ‘bank holiday mode’, dedicated teams will still be providing a full range of NHS care in communities across the area.

The NHS 111 service will be available around the clock, every day. It has been continuously improved – it is now available online as well as by phone, staff can directly book people into GP or Urgent Treatment Centre appointments if they need one, and more than half of all calls now include support from a clinician or clinical advisor. Experts in mental health are also on hand to help, if needed.

That continuous improvement means the local 111 phone lines now respond to an average of just over 100 calls an hour, every hour, on average. And about 8 in 10 of all calls end up with the caller being directed to care or advice away from Emergency Departments (EDs) – avoiding wasted time and unnecessary journeys, and a world away from the old complaint “they just send you to A&E”.

A network of community pharmacies will also be open – often for long hours – to make sure everyone can find a local expert in medicines, with years of experience, who can help and advise on a huge range of illnesses and injuries. There are full details of bank holiday pharmacy opening hours for Hampshire, and the Isle of Wight.

GPs and nurses will be working in ‘out of hours’ services (which can be accessed by the 111 teams) over the four-day break, to make sure that people who need primary care support urgently can get help they need.

And Urgent Treatment Centres will be open too, a convenient option for people who need to get help quickly, but don’t need the specialised skills of ED staff. You can see all UTC opening hours, and details of all available services, on our “Getting the Right services” page.

All of that support will be available over all four days of the holidays, helping to ensure that ED staff and ambulance crews can focus on those who are most seriously ill, and cannot be treated anywhere else.

Dr Nicola Decker, the clinical lead for Hampshire, Southampton, and Isle of Wight CCG, said: “The old idea that the NHS wasn’t there for people outside normal office hours is long gone now. Over the whole weekend, an army of superb staff will be working across our communities – in our 111 teams online and on the phones, in pharmacies, in Urgent Treatment Centres, in out-of-hours services – to keep people safe and well.

“Nobody wants to turn their Jubilee into a wait in ED, and if you’re not seriously ill, you don’t have to.

“It should be a fantastic weekend, and we hope that everyone can celebrate the Jubilee safely. But if anyone needs help in a hurry – and it’s not a genuine medical emergency - we have the teams in place to help you out without spending the bank holiday in a hospital waiting room.”

Mark Rowell, Head of Integrated Urgent Care and NHS 111 Services said “I wish everyone a happy jubilee celebrations - however you are celebrating please take care and ensure you have your medications and support you need for the weekend, ordering medications from your GP ahead of the four day bank holiday weekend.

“My team will be working hard over the weekend to support all our patients but if you do need our help please remember to use 111 Online or call 111, we’ll be on hand to provide you with the right advice or call back if you need additional support.”

Help is at hand – here’s how

If you need urgent care but it is not a life-threatening emergency, contact 111 first:

Contact 111 online for urgent care and trained staff will help you find the service you need or advise you on what to do. They can even book you an appointment slot if you need one so you know exactly when to attend – all arranged quickly and easily from the safety and the comfort of your own home. 

Urgent treatment centres are best for minor injuries

For minor injuries or illnesses you’ll be seen quickly, by trained experts, at one of our many urgent treatment centres or minor injuries units for aches, sprains, strains, wound infections and even limb fractures. NHS 111 can even book you in if you contact them first.

There’s no place like home if you’re ready to leave hospital

If you have a loved one or friend in hospital who is ready to come home, you can help by picking them up promptly. A friendly face to ease them home is really important and it also means our hospitals beds can be made available quickly for patients who need them.

Expert help on every high street

Your high street pharmacist is a highly qualified expert who can help you with concerns about minor illnesses, medicines or other wellbeing advice. They can put your mind at rest very quickly, or point you in the direction of someone who can help should you need it.

There are things you can do to help yourself

Keeping some everyday medicines and painkillers in a safe place at home can be really useful for dealing with minor bugs and illnesses like colds, stomach upsets and the occasional hangover. For the conditions you can manage at home, there are some great tips here.

Make use of online help – and contact services online if you can

The NHS has other great resources online to help you check symptoms and get advice. Try www.nhs.uk for health and medicines advice and Healthier Together www.what0-18.nhs.uk/ if you are concerned about an unwell child.