Please continue to use NHS 111 online for swift health advice this August bank holiday

The NHS is reminding people to continue to use 111 online for health advice and to dial 999 in an emergency ahead of the August bank holiday weekend.

Local NHS services experienced a surge in demand in June – in part due to the Jubilee bank holiday weekend – with over 8,000 more patients attending emergency departments across the East of England than in the same month last year.

Ahead of August’s long weekend, local health chiefs have encouraged communities to continue to use services in the usual way and to come forward for care as soon as they need it.

The NHS’ 111 online service is already popular with people who want quick advice about the best options for getting the care they need.

Support can include a clinician calling the patient back to discuss their symptoms or the patient being referred on to one of a wide range of services.

Many local pharmacies remain open over the bank holiday weekend for those people needing to pick up prescriptions or for other health advice.

Catherine Morgan, chief nurse for the NHS in the East of England, said: “We are extremely grateful to the dedicated teams across the NHS in the East of England who will be working hard over the coming bank holiday weekend to ensure all those that need care receive it.

“The NHS 111 online service is the most convenient way for people to access care helping to direct them to the right service quickly as well as providing medical advice.

“It is also important that people know they are still encouraged to dial 999 if they have an emergency.

“If you are unwell this weekend, please don’t delay and come forward for care as soon as you need it – the NHS is here for you.”

Information about pharmacies in the East of England open on bank holiday Monday (29 August) are available on NHS England’s website, with the social media accounts of NHS organisations across the region also a reliable source for local services available over the weekend.

Notes to editors

NHS 111 online can help you with:

  • where to get help for your symptoms, if you’re not sure what to do
  • how to find general health information and advice
  • where to get an emergency supply of your prescribed medicine
  • how to get a repeat prescription
  • get emergency dental appointments

You should ring 999 if you experience:

  • signs of a heart attack like pain like a heavy weight in the centre of your chest
  • signs of stroke such as your face dropping on one side
  • difficulty breathing

Statistics on emergency department attendances are available on NHS England’s website.