AS the August bank holiday is approaching, health services are reminding the public of the care options available if you become unwell.
Health services are reminding people that COVID-19 is circulating in communities while health and emergency services across the North-west are anticipating a busy weekend.
Many local pharmacies will be open over the weekend including Bank Holiday Monday to help with minor illnesses.
Dermot Monaghan, Chief Officer, Community Healthcare Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Monaghan, Sligo said, “If you urgently need to see a GP outside their clinic hours, you can contact your local GP out-of-hours service. Additional resources are being put in place this long weekend to deal with an expected increase in demand.
“Out-of-hours GP services, NoWDOC and Caredoc, will be open from 6pm Friday August 4th until 8am Tuesday August 8th.
“Please contact your GP out of hours service prior to attending the service. Caredoc can be contacted on 0818 365 399 and NoWDOC on 0818 400 911.”
“Hospital Emergency Departments around the country are experiencing very high attendances and we expect this to be another busy weekend.
“EDs are for life threatening emergencies, patients who attend for routine and non-urgent treatment will be waiting a long time to be seen. Please do not visit a healthcare setting if you have any symptoms of COVID-19 (sore throat, cough, temperature or shortness of breath,” said Mr Monaghan.
Tony Canavan, CEO Saolta said, “As the last bank holiday weekend of the summer approaches we are expecting a busy few days in our hospital EDs.
“I want to reassure the public that anyone with an illness or injury which requires emergency care should always come to the ED where they will be prioritised.
“We have operational plans in place for all bank holiday periods to manage additional pressures and health staff across hospital and community settings will continue to work together over the weekend to ensure all available beds across the hospital and community are in use.”
Dr Áine Mc Namara, Area Director of Public Health Area F offers the following advice “While spending time with family and friends, it is important that if you are feeling unwell to avoid meeting those who are vulnerable to protect them from illness. In the past week, there was an increase in COVID-19 cases nationally (22% increase in cases and 19% increase in hospitalised cases). Keeping up to date with your vaccines is the most important thing you can do to avoid serious COVID-19 illness. Find out more here.”
JJ McGowan, General Manager Operations West with National Ambulance Service added, “Please also bear in mind that our ambulance service is extremely busy at present. We continue to prioritise calls so the most seriously ill or injured receive the quickest response. Please consider all your care options because non life-threatening calls will have longer wait times. In an emergency always call 112/999.”
Pharmacists are qualified healthcare professionals and can help you get the right medicine if you are feeling unwell, they can also advise on range of health issues.
Find out more about the services offered by your local pharmacy here: https://www.hse.ie/eng/services/list/2/pharmacy/
It’s important that people are #SunSmart this weekend, even when it’s cloudy, by wearing sunscreen, covering up with hats and clothing, using sunglasses and shade to protect your skin in the sun.
If visiting a beach, swimmers are encouraged to check the latest water quality information for their bathing site at www.beaches.ie. For those enjoying a barbecue, you can find tips on cooking safely with BBQs at https://www.safefood.net/.