Residents of East Berkshire are being advised on how they can access healthcare and advice over the Easter Bank Holiday (Good Friday, 30 March to Easter Monday, 2 April).
Most GP practices across Slough, Bracknell, Windsor, Ascot and Maidenhead will continue to operate a normal service until Thursday 29 March. We do however advise that you to check with your individual practice.
Patients should ensure that they have sufficient medication to cover them over the holiday period and ensure that any request for repeat prescriptions are ideally made by Monday 27 March at the latest.
The ‘Extended GP hours Service’, for people who find it difficult to take time off work or have other commitments during daytime hours, will also continue to operate as normal until Thursday 29th March .People are reminded that these are pre-bookable appointments via their individual GP surgeries only. Appointments cannot be booked on the day.
All GP practices will be closed on Friday 30th March, Saturday 31st March, Sunday 1st April, and Monday 2nd April; there will be limited ‘Extended GP hours Service’ on some of these days. Please check with your local practice for details. People will still be able to access GP care, whether this is for an urgent appointment or medical advice, by calling NHS 111.
Our three Urgent Care facilities will be open throughout the Easter Bank Holiday period with walk-in services available for people at Bracknell Urgent Care Centre (BUCC), Slough Walk-In Centre (SWIC) and St Mark’s Urgent Care Centre (SMUCC) in Maidenhead. Here are their opening hours:
• BUCC is open 8am-8pm, 7 days a week (including Bank Holidays) – no change to opening times over Easter Bank Holiday
• SWIC is open 8am-8pm, 7 days a week (including Bank Holidays) – no change to opening times over Easter Bank Holiday
• St Mark’s UCC is open 8:30am -5pm on weekdays / 8:30am – 1pm on weekends and Bank Holidays – no change to opening times over Easter Bank Holiday
People may also seek medical advice from a number of local pharmacies, some of which will be operating on restricted opening hours between Friday 30 March and 2 April. It is recommended that a small ‘first aid’ box and a supply of basic medication i.e. pain relief for adults and children etc. should be in place to support self-care throughout the year.
Pharmacy opening hours on Bank Holidays are subject to change. Patients are therefore advised to check if pharmacies are open by telephone before making a journey.
Click here to view the pharmacy opening times for the Easter Bank Holiday period for Berkshire.
GP practices and the ‘Extended GP hours service’ will be open as normal on Wednesday 28th March and Thursday 29th March with some additional clinical capacity in place to help with any increased demand.
On Monday 2nd April, all GP practices will be closed with people advised to use 111, walk-in centres or pharmacies if they need assistance.
All services will resume as normal from Tuesday 3 April with additional clinical capacity at the Extended GP hours Service again in place to help deal with any increased demand.
Dr Jim O’Donnell, Clinical Lead for the Slough Locality within East Berkshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCGs), said: “We want people to know that should they unfortunately become unwell over the Easter Bank Holiday period, help is still always at hand.
“If your GP practice is closed and it is not a 999 emergency, then please call NHS 111. This excellent service will give you advice and if you need to speak directly to a health care professional then these are available on the other end of the phone, whatever the time of day or night. They can also book you an appointment to see a doctor.
“Alternatively, you can visit one of our three Urgent Care facilities or a selected number of pharmacies for minor illnesses such as coughs and colds.
He added: “To help ensure the NHS delivers an effective service for all over the Easter period, people should only visit A&E or call 999 for major, life-threatening illnesses and injuries.”
Those seeking professional online health information should consult the following useful websites:
www.patient.info : symptom checker, common conditions and topics, information leaflets, etc.
medi-health.info : clear medical information, definitions, likely causes, best treatments, self-help advice.
www.nhs.net : A to Z of conditions and treatments, Live Well, Finding medical help locally.
www.childhealthslough.com : common childhood illnesses from 0 to 5 years, in English, Polish, Urdu and Punjabi
www.diabetes.org.uk and www.nhs.uk/change4life.