Health line ready to give Bank Holiday advice

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EXPERIENCED advisers and nurses from Derbyshire’s new ‘111’ health line will be ready to help patients needing medical advice this Bank Holiday.

Staff from the service, which is currently being trialled in North Derbyshire including Chesterfield, Matlock, and the High Peak, took 650 calls over the recent Easter Bank Holiday Monday – almost double the average number of daily calls the hotline has taken since it launched in October.

Available 24 hours a day call handlers and advisers will be on hand to direct patients to the local services that can help when the pharmacist is operating limited hours over the May Day Bank Holiday on Monday, May 7.

Services could be an out-of-hours doctor, walk-in centre, community nurse or emergency dentist.

Pauline Hand, head of operations for Derbyshire Health United, who manage the day-to-day running of the service on behalf of NHS Derbyshire County and North Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We want everyone to have a fun and safe Bank Holiday, but if you do have a medical query and it’s less urgent than ‘999’, ‘111’ is the number to call.

“The ‘111’ hotline is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and is manned by trained advisers who can give you immediate health advice or direct you to the local service that meets your needs best – with a no-callback guarantee.

“Staff manning the ‘111’ telephone number also have the ability to despatch an ambulance straight away if any patient is found to have a life-threatening emergency and may transfer a caller to a clinician if further clinical advice is needed.”

Patients are also being reminded to pick up repeat prescriptions from local chemists ahead of the Bank Holiday weekend, as pharmacists will be closed or operating restricted hours on Monday, May 7 and requests take 48 hours to process.

GP and dental practices will be shut, too, so anyone ringing their local surgery or dentist will automatically be directed to the out-of-hours service.

Other NHS services continuing to operate over the seasonal break include:

Derby: Derby’s Osmaston Road walk-in centre (8am to 7.30pm, seven days a week), Derby Open Access Centre at 207 St Thomas Road (8am to 8pm, seven days a week)

High Peak: North High Peak Urgent Care Centre, New Mills Health Centre, (Bank Holidays, 9.00am to 10pm), and the minor injury unit at Buxton Hospital (open 8am to 10pm every day)

Ilkeston: the walk-in centre (8am to 8pm, seven days a week) and the minor injury unit, both at Ilkeston Hospital (24 hours a day)

Ripley & Heanor: minor injury unit at Ripley Hospital (24 hours a day)

Matlock: minor injury unit at Whitworth Hospital (24 hours a day)

Swadlincote: Swadlincote urgent care centre (at the health centre, open Bank Holidays, 9am to 10.30pm).