Residents encouraged to use NHS 111 and community pharmacies this Easter weekend

The NHS in North Yorkshire and York say patients who become unwell over the Easter weekend can save time if they choose the right health services.

With most GP practices closed for the four-day Easter weekend which begins with Good Friday on 15 April, local NHS leaders want to make sure people access the most appropriate care, depending on whether they have a minor health complaint, or something more serious.

Residents who need urgent medical help should ring NHS 111 – trained health professionals can advise on where to go for the best treatment or arrange clinical review through the GP out of hours service if appropriate – or if it’s something less serious like a cough, cold or rash, people can visit their local community pharmacy for advice and support.

You can find details of the pharmacy opening times over the Easter bank holiday weekend on the CCG’s website –

NHS North Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group, GP Governing Body member, Dr Bruce Willoughby, said: “It’s important people use NHS resources sensibly and ‘choose the right care, first time’.

“A wide range of common illnesses and injuries can be treated at home simply with over-the-counter medicines and plenty of rest. Often there is no shortcut to recovery – in many cases these things just need to run their course.”

“Having a medicine cabinet at home with some simple over-the-counter remedies like paracetamol, ibuprofen, and anti-diarrhoea tablets is also recommended so you can treat any common illnesses or ailments yourself, without needing to see a GP.”

“The Accident and Emergency department and 999 are for emergencies only, in serious or life-threatening situations.”

The local NHS is also reminding patients with long-term conditions to make sure they have enough of their regular medication to cover them over the long Easter weekend.