Lothian gears up for busy Easter Holidays

The Easter holidays have almost arrived - and with some regular health services due to close for the holiday period, out of hours services in NHS Lothian are gearing up for a busy time.

NHS staff are committed to delivering the best possible care to those who really need it this Easter.
And you can help by taking the time to find out how and when to make the best use of the out-of-hours services available, especially the Minor Injuries Clinic.
The clinic, based at the Western General Hospital, is open for business throughout the Easter holidays and provides a prompt, expert alternative to busy hospital emergency departments which deal with life-threatening injuries.
With some GP surgeries and pharmacies shut for the holiday weekends, the Minor Injuries Clinic is open 365 days a year from 8am-9pm. 
Around 50 adults and children now attend the clinic every day – around 20,000 every year – for a range of injuries, especially to their ankle or wrist and for burns, cuts and sprains.
The clinic offers assessment and treatment as required and no appointment is necessary.
Dr David Farquharson, Medical Director, NHS Lothian, said: “The holidays can be a very busy time and it is important that people should plan ahead.
“If you need a repeat prescription, check you have sufficient supplies to last over the holidays and stock up your medicine cabinet with common remedies just in case.
“You should also check when your local GP surgery and pharmacy are open and remember that the Minor Injuries Clinic is open each day for a range of injuries.”
GP practices across Edinburgh, Midlothian, East Lothian and West Lothian will be closed over the four-day Easter holiday - from Friday 25th March to Monday the 28th March inclusively.
Many community pharmacies will also be closed on Easter Monday.
Be prepared for Easter with these tips:
1.      Know who to turn to by visiting http://knowwhototurnto.org
2.      Be sure to stock up your medicine cabinet with painkillers, indigestion  remedies, anti-histamines, first aid kits, anti-diarrheal, re-hydration sachets   
3.      Do not attend A&E unless your condition is serious or life threatening.           Save yourself time and energy by "knowing who to turn to".
  4.  Minor injuries units can assist with issues such as broken bones,
       sprains, cuts and minor burns. These will be open as normal.
NHS Lothian out-of-hours services work closely with NHS 24 to provide patients with health advice and help when GP surgeries are closed - during the night, at weekends and on public holidays.
Anyone who is unwell and feels that it can't wait until GP surgeries re-open can access out-of-hours services by calling NHS 24 on 111.  Callers will first speak to someone who will ask some questions, including the reason for calling. The call will then be directed to either an experienced nurse for assessment or a health information advisor for information.
If a person's condition is immediately life-threatening, then the usual practice of dialling the emergency number 999 should be followed.