Urgent care services on offer across Fylde coast

People living across the Fylde coast are reminded that there are a host of services available to them should they require medical attention.

Following recent improvements to urgent care services in the area, walk-in appointments are now available at both Blackpool Walk-In Centre in Whitegate Drive and the Fleetwood Same Day Health Centre in Dock Street.

These services should be the first port of call for anyone suffering urgent but not life-threatening health problems, such as strains or sprains, suspected broken limbs, minor head injuries, cuts and grazes or bites and stings.

Appointments with healthcare professionals including GPs, nurses and healthcare assistants are also now available in the evenings up until 9.30pm. These can be booked via all GP practices on the Fylde coast.

Local pharmacists are also qualified to deal with many health complaints and can be seen without an appointment.

Anyone unsure of what to do should call the free NHS111 helpline for immediate advice.

Speaking on behalf of the Fylde coast NHS, Fylde coast GP and clinical chief officer at NHS Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) Dr Tony Naughton said: “As is often the case at this time of year, our local hospital is experiencing high demand.

“The services in Fleetwood and Whitegate Drive are open every day and can treat people of all ages. They can deal with many of the most common problems people often go to A&E for.

“We would urge everyone to think carefully about where they need to go for health treatment. A&E is for serious problems. People have a wide variety of choices for healthcare and should choose wisely.”

Further details of the urgent care services available can be found at www.whyaande.nhs.uk/urgentcare

Be a good neighbour this festive time

The NHS on the Fylde coast has called for people to have a sense of good old-fashioned neighbourliness to ease the chill of loneliness this Christmas period by checking that an elderly friend is eating well, and is safe and warm.

Each winter, thousands of people in England die as a result of cold weather. Many are over 75 and most of these deaths could be avoided. Hundreds of thousands of others spend much of the winter alone.

Older people are particularly vulnerable during the winter as cold weather increases their risk of illnesses such as colds, coughs, flu, heart attacks, strokes, breathing problems and hypothermia. This adds extra pressure to health services which includes longer waits in A&E. By helping our elderly neighbours we can help relieve that pressure and leave emergency services to deal with more life threatening emergencies.

Speaking on behalf of NHS Fylde and Wyre and NHS Blackpool Clinical Commissioning Groups, Dr John Calvert, a Blackpool GP and clinical advisor at NHS Blackpool Clinical Commissioning Group said: “Winter in notoriously a busy time for the NHS and although we are prepared for it there is lots people can do to help the situation and we need their help.

“There are lots of ways you can do your bit to help lonely or socially isolated elderly people in your community. The person you’re helping will reap health benefits, and you’ll find you will as well. Evidence suggests giving your time in this way could be as valuable to you as the person you support. It’s likely to boost your self-esteem and sense of purpose. And helping others takes your mind off your own problems for a while.”

A good start to help someone is simply to stop and talk to an elderly neighbour if you pass them on the street. A simple “hello” or “good morning” is enough to brighten their day and start a conversation. Ask them if they need any help with tasks such as shopping, posting letters or picking up prescriptions and medicines.

Offer to give them a lift to activities or doctor and hospital appointments, the library, hairdressers or faith services.

Check if they’ve had a free flu jab and, if not offer to make an appointment at the GP surgery.

Look out for signs of serious illness, such as drowsiness, slurred speech and the person not complaining of feeling cold even in a bitterly cold room.

If you’re worried, ask if there’s a relative or close friend you can phone, or call the doctor or NHS 111. You could also contact your local council or ring the Age UK helpline on Freephone 0800 009 966.

Pharmacy opening times this Christmas

A good selection of pharmacies on the Fylde coast will be open over Christmas and New Year to offer advice and treatments for minor illnesses and injuries.

Pharmacists are highly trained professionals with a wealth of knowledge of how to deal with common ailments that are prevalent at this time of year. Illnesses such as coughs, colds, stomach bugs, indigestion or hangovers can all be dealt with simple remedies bought over the counter with advice from the pharmacist.

The festive period is traditionally an extremely busy time for the health service with more people suffering injury or illness and automatically going to A&E when they are better off going to places like the walk in (Blackpool) or same day (Fleetwood) centres. Similarly GPs see more people making appointments for complaints such as colds which take up time that could be used to see people with more serious conditions which are often made worse by the cold.

It is essential people use the right service so other services are not put under unnecessary pressure.

It is also important to know where to go to get medication if you need a prescription over the festive period.

In Blackpool, all pharmacies will be open on Christmas Eve, however some pharmacy opening times may vary. Speak to your local pharmacy for more information.

The pharmacy at Whitegate Drive Health Centre will be open on Christmas Day from 8am to 9pm.

On Boxing Day, pharmacies will be open at:

  • Whitegate Drive Health Centre, 8am to 9pm
  • Boots, Bank Hey Street, 9am to 5.30pm
  • Lloyds, Sainsbury’s, Red Bank Road, 9am to 6pm
  • Morrison’s Pharmacy, Squires Gate Lane, 10am to 4pm

All pharmacies will be open as normal on New Year’s Eve, however some pharmacy opening times may vary. Speak to your local pharmacy for more information.

On New Year’s Day, pharmacies will be open at:

  • Whitegate Drive Health Centre, 8am to 9pm
  • Lloyds Pharmacy, Sainsbury’s, Red Bank Road, 10am to 4pm
  • Boots, Bank Hey Street, 10am to 5pm

In Fylde and Wyre, all pharmacies will be open on Christmas Eve, however some pharmacy opening times may vary. Speak to your local pharmacy for more information.

On Christmas Day, pharmacies will be open at:

  • Wesham Pharmacy, Station Road, 10am to 1pm
  • Tomlinsons Chemist, Market Square, Lytham, 11am to 2pm

On Boxing Day, pharmacies will be open at:

  • Lloyds Pharmacy, St Andrews Road North, St Annes, 9am to 5pm
  • Boots, Clifton Street, Lytham, 10.30am to 4pm
  • Boots, Victoria Road West, Cleveleys, 10am to 4pm
  • Boots St Annes Road West, Lytham, 10.30am to 4.30pm
  • Morrisons Pharmacy, Amounderness Way, Thornton Cleveleys, 10am to 4pm
  • Asda Pharmacy, Dock Street, Fleetwood, 9am to 6pm

All pharmacies will be open on New Year’s Eve, however some pharmacy opening times may vary. Speak to your local pharmacy for more information.

On New Year’s Day, pharmacies will be open at:

  • Lloyds Pharmacy, St Andrews Road North, St Annes, 9am to 5pm
  • Asda Pharmacy, Dock Street, Fleetwood, 10am to 6pm
  • Morrions Pharmacy, Amounderness Way, Thornton Cleveleys, 10am to 4pm

Speaking on behalf of NHS Fylde and Wyre and NHS Blackpool Clinical Commissioning Groups, Dr John Calvert, a Blackpool GP and clinical advisor at NHS Blackpool Clinical Commissioning Group said: “We really need people to remember that the Accident and Emergency department is strictly for accidents and emergencies.”

“People with minor ailments could face a lengthy wait to be seen and would be better off visiting a pharmacist or looking after themselves at home.

“The other services such as the Walk-In and Same-Day Health Centres should be kept free for those who are in need of treatment for an urgent complaint.

“A&E especially, should be kept free those in need of emergency treatment for life-threatening conditions. The festive period is the busiest time of the year for the NHS so it’s important people remember to use the most appropriate service when required.

“Anyone who is feeling unwell and isn’t sure what they should do can always ring 111 for help and advice on where to go and who to see.”

A full list of Christmas opening times for pharmacies and other services across the Fylde Coast is available at http://whyaande.nhs.uk/xmas

Stay well as Jack Frost comes knocking

The winter weather has taken hold with temperatures already dropping and that means a host of health problems that will add more pressure to our NHS services this year.

Slips on the ice and heart and lung conditions being made worse due to the cold are all common threats to people at this time of year and NHS services are already gearing up to handle the extra demand.

A&E in particular is often especially busy at this time as people head there instead of more appropriate services. This means many people are faced with much longer waiting times as the most seriously ill or life threatening emergencies are seen before anyone else.

GP services were extended to include appointments in the evening and weekends in the autumn and they are expected to be used fully throughout the winter. The Urgent Care centre at Victoria Hospital has also been given a facelift to help deal with more people going through its doors instead of going to the emergency department.

However the emphasis is still on residents to do their best to stay safe and avoid inappropriate use of health services as the cold weather continues. Health services are offering the following hints and tips to stay well:

  • People with long term conditions are being asked to make sure they have all the medication they need and know how to prevent their condition becoming worse and what to do if it does.
  • Everyone is reminded to make sure they have a well-stocked medicine cabinet by visiting their pharmacist for advice on treatments for common ailments such as coughs and colds.
  • If you haven’t had a flu jab yet and are eligible for one you should make sure you get it to prevent becoming ill.
  • If you have an elderly neighbour please check on them to make sure they are warm and have enough food – they may not want to go out in the cold so maybe you could pick up a few things for them!
  • Be careful when driving, check road conditions and make sure your windscreen is properly defrosted before setting off to avoid accidents.
  • Make sure your shoes are suitable for walking when pavements could be icy. Even if it means taking a change of shoes to work with you.
  • Visit your pharmacist as soon as you start to feel unwell.
  • If you’re not sure where to go for help go to nhs.uk or call NHS 111

Christmas and New Year opening times

A good selection of pharmacies on the Fylde coast will be open over Christmas and New Year to offer advice and treatments for minor illnesses and injuries.

Pharmacists are highly trained professionals with a wealth of knowledge of how to deal with common ailments that are prevalent at this time of year. Illnesses such as coughs, colds, stomach bugs, indigestion or hangovers can all be dealt with simple remedies bought over the counter with advice from the pharmacist.

The festive period is traditionally an extremely busy time for the health service with more people suffering injury or illness and automatically going to A&E when they are better off going to places like the walk in (Blackpool) or same day (Fleetwood) centres. Similarly GPs see more people making appointments for complaints such as colds which take up time that could be used to see people with more serious conditions which are often made worse by the cold.

It is essential people use the right service so other services are not put under unnecessary pressure.

It is also important to know where to go to get medication if you need a prescription over the festive period.

Blackpool

In Blackpool, all pharmacies will be open on Christmas Eve, however some pharmacy opening times may vary. Speak to your local pharmacy for more information. The pharmacy at Whitegate Drive Health Centre will be open on Christmas Day from 8am to 9pm.

On Boxing Day, pharmacies will be open at:

  • Whitegate Drive Health Centre, 8am to 9pm
  • Boots, Bank Hey Street, 9am to 5.30pm
  • Lloyds, Sainsbury’s, Red Bank Road, 9am to 6pm
  • Morrison’s Pharmacy, Squires Gate Lane, 10am to 4pm

All pharmacies will be open as normal on New Year’s Eve, however some pharmacy opening times may vary. Speak to your local pharmacy for more information.

On New Year’s Day, pharmacies will be open at:

  • Whitegate Drive Health Centre, 8am to 9pm
  • Lloyds Pharmacy, Sainsbury’s, Red Bank Road, 10am to 4pm
  • Boots, Bank Hey Street, 10am to 5pm

Fylde and Wyre

In Fylde and Wyre, all pharmacies will be open on Christmas Eve, however some pharmacy opening times may vary. Speak to your local pharmacy for more information.

On Christmas Day, pharmacies will be open at:

  • Wesham Pharmacy, Station Road, 10am to 1pm
  • Tomlinsons Chemist, Market Square, Lytham, 11am to 2pm

On Boxing Day, pharmacies will be open at:

  • Lloyds Pharmacy, St Andrews Road North, St Annes, 9am to 5pm
  • Boots, Clifton Street, Lytham, 10.30am to 4pm
  • Boots, Victoria Road West, Cleveleys, 10am to 4pm
  • Boots St Annes Road West, Lytham, 10.30am to 4.30pm
  • Morrisons Pharmacy, Amounderness Way, Thornton Cleveleys, 10am to 4pm
  • Asda Pharmacy, Dock Street, Fleetwood, 9am to 6pm

All pharmacies will be open on New Year’s Eve, however some pharmacy opening times may vary. Speak to your local pharmacy for more information.

On New Year’s Day, pharmacies will be open at:

  • Lloyds Pharmacy, St Andrews Road North, St Annes, 9am to 5pm
  • Asda Pharmacy, Dock Street, Fleetwood, 10am to 6pm
  • Morrions Pharmacy, Amounderness Way, Thornton Cleveleys, 10am to 4pm

Speaking on behalf of NHS Fylde and Wyre and NHS Blackpool Clinical Commissioning Groups, Dr Amanda Doyle, a Blackpool GP and Chief Clinical Officer at NHS Blackpool Clinical Commissioning Group said: “We really need people to remember that the Accident and Emergency department is strictly for accidents and emergencies.

“People with minor ailments could face a lengthy wait to be seen and would be better off visiting a pharmacist or looking after themselves at home.

“The other services such as the Walk-In and Same-Day Health Centres should be kept free for those who are in need of treatment for an urgent complaint.

“A&E especially, should be kept free those in need of emergency treatment for life-threatening conditions. The festive period is the busiest time of the year for the NHS so it’s important people remember to use the most appropriate service when required.

“Anyone who is feeling unwell and isn’t sure what they should do can always ring 111 for help and advice on where to go and who to see.”

 

 

Don’t forget your prescription while Christmas shopping

Many people have already started their Christmas shopping but there’s a good chance some will have left one very important item for themselves off their shopping list.

With Christmas fast approaching, local people with long-term health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, lung and heart disease are being reminded not to leave it too late to get their repeat prescriptions.

Many GP practices and pharmacies will be closed on the bank holidays over Christmas and New Year so it is important people check they have enough medication to avoid requiring urgent medical help during the festive period.

Speaking on behalf of the Fylde coast NHS, Dr Neil Hartley-Smith, a Blackpool GP and Clinical Advisor at NHS Blackpool CCG, said: “People with long-term conditions rely on their prescribed medication to help keep their condition under control.

“So if you or a relative have a long-term condition I’d encourage you to check that you have enough medication to see you through the festive period. If not, it is important to order more in good time – then you can get on with enjoying the holiday period in good health!”

The easiest way to order a repeat prescription is by going online. Patient Access can be used by everyone on the Fylde coast to request their medication from the comfort of their home, by using a computer or with a mobile phone or tablet. Patient Access can also be used to book an appointment with a GP and to view medical records. For more information and to register, visit www.patient-access.co.uk

Now is also a good time to double check that home medicine cabinets are well stocked with over-the-counter remedies so that minor illnesses and injuries can be managed at home during the festive period.

If you do need medical advice for a minor ailment during the festive period, pharmacies can provide free, expert advice without the need for an appointment. You can also download some self care fact sheets here: http://whyaande.nhs.uk/why-ae/self-care/self-care-information/

Protect yourself from flu this winter

Protect yourself from flu this winter

Fylde coast residents are being urged to get their flu jab as soon as possible by local doctors.

The message comes as the NHS prepares for the busy winter period, with doctors encouraging those particularly at risk from the effects of flu to protect themselves and their families.

Flu is a highly infectious disease and can lead to serious complications if you have a long-term health condition like COPD; bronchitis, emphysema; diabetes; heart, kidney or liver disease or have suffered a stroke. Flu, on top of health conditions like these, can easily develop into something very serious and could land you in hospital. People with these and other long-term health conditions are eligible for a free flu jab through their GP or pharmacist.

Pregnant women, children aged 2 and 3 as well as school children from reception class through to year 4 are also eligible for the free flu vaccine. For eligible children, the flu vaccine is not an injection, just a quick nasal spray.

Flu can be horrible for little children, and if they get it, they can spread it around the whole family. Children who get the flu have the same symptoms as adults – including fever, chills, aching muscles, headache, stuffy nose, dry cough and sore throat. Some children develop a very high fever or complications of flu, such as bronchitis or pneumonia and may need hospital treatment. The flu vaccine can help protect your child from flu and also reduce the chance of flu spreading to others.

If you have a child aged 2 or 3, get them vaccinated against flu with the free nasal spray flu vaccine from your GP. School children from reception class through to year 4 will get their vaccinations through their school.

Speaking on behalf of the Fylde coast NHS, Dr Amanda Doyle, who is a GP in Blackpool said: “If you are eligible for the flu vaccine then it’s because you need it. It’s important you get it.

“Flu isn’t just a bad cold. It can lead to more serious complications like pneumonia and bronchitis.

“The vaccine provides year-long protection from flu which not only protects you as an individual, but also helps to stop the spread of the virus to your family and friends.”

Contact your GP practice as soon as possible to arrange your flu vaccination appointment. Alternatively, you can visit your local pharmacy, many of which offer walk-in appointments. Pregnant women should speak to their midwife.

Visit www.nhs.uk/staywell for more information.