Prepare properly for holiday healthcare

THE WELSH Ambulance Service is urging members of the public to ‘Choose Well’ as it prepares for a busy August Bank Holiday weekend.

Each year the Trust experiences an increase in demand during Bank Holidays and stresses the importance of preserving its service for people facing life-threatening emergencies.

People with long term health conditions are encouraged to make sure they have enough of their prescription to last the weekend when pharmacies are subject to reduced opening hours or closed.

Those going away are being urged to find out the full address of where they staying at and to check what medical facilities are in the area.

Richard Lee, the Welsh Ambulance Service’s Director of Operations, said: “August is a busy month for the whole health system as the number of visitors to Wales increases significantly, especially over the Bank Holiday.

“While we always plan for busy periods, we need everyone’s help to make sure we’re there for people who are seriously ill or injured.

“If you arrive at hospital by ambulance and your call is not urgent, you will not be seen any quicker and will cause a longer wait for someone who needs the specialist clinical skills and equipment our staff carry.

“Please only call us if it’s an emergency and remember there’s a whole host of services available to you over the Bank Holiday.”

The NHS Direct Wales website has online symptom checkers for advice on common health problems.

Bank Holiday weekends also result in an increase in alcohol related call outs for ambulance crews.

“Remember that every minute we spend attending alcohol related calls is one we could be helping an elderly person who’s fallen at home or someone suffering a stroke.”