PATIENTS are being urged to deal with any routine medical problems before GP surgeries close for Easter.
They are also being advised to check they have sufficient prescription medicines for the four-day holiday.
GP surgeries in Rhondda Cynon Taf and Merthyr Tydfil will close for the Easter bank holiday at 6.30pm on Thursday March 28 and reopen on Tuesday April 2 at 8am.
Patients with urgent medical problems during that time should contact the Cwm Taf GP out-of-hours service – the service only deals with medical problems which cannot wait until the patient’s own GP surgery is open.
Nigel Waskett, clinical director of the Cwm Taf Health Board GP out-of-hours service, said: “Please make sure that routine problems or problems that may become urgent are dealt with by your own GP, if possible before the Easter holiday period.
“Visiting your own GP will be safer for you as they have access to your full health records and all the GP practice staff and equipment.
“This also means the out-of-hours service will not have to deal with routine GP work and can concentrate on helping those patients who may have more urgent health problems.”
Patients who contact the Cwm Taf GP out of hours service may be given advice over the phone or they may be given an appointment for a face-to-face consultation at a primary care centre.
Those patients who are terminally ill or seriously unwell will be seen at home.
Dr Waskett added: “The Cwm Taf GP out-of-hours service provides medical advice and treatment for urgent healthcare problems only – this means for problems which the patient or their carer feels can’t safely wait until they are able to contact their own GP practice.”
Advice to help you stay well over the Easter holiday:
Repeat prescriptions - Help your GP to spend time on more serious cases by ordering repeat prescriptions in advance of the holiday period. If you take regular medication please check your supplies and request repeat prescriptions on or soon after Monday March 25. This will give your GP and pharmacist enough time to process the repeat prescription.
Ask your pharmacist - local community pharmacists can provide advice and treatment for many minor or self-limiting conditions along with advice about any ongoing medication.
There will be limited pharmacy opening on Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Monday (details are available on the Cwm Taf website www.cwmtafhb.wales.nhs.uk).
Please ensure you collect repeat prescriptions before Good Friday.
NHS Direct Wales – If you need information and advice about health, illness and health services (including phone numbers and opening times) to enable you to make decisions about your healthcare and that of your family, contact NHS Direct Wales on 0845 46 47.