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*As people in Tayside look forward to a public holiday weekend, NHS Tayside is urging members of the public to make sure they know where to get the right treatment, at the right place, at the right time.

Over holiday periods, when GP surgeries are closed, the out-of-hours service and A&E departments see a significant increase in attendances, some of which could be dealt with elsewhere.

The out-of-hours service takes over patient care when GP surgeries are closed. It is for patients who become ill during the out-of-hours period and who cannot wait until their GP surgery opens.

Dedicated teams of GPs, nurses, administration staff, drivers and Minor Injury & Illness Unit staff in rural areas ensure that the service delivers safe and effective care to patients across Tayside.

The Tayside out-of-hours service is open from 6pm until 8am each weekday and 24 hours at weekends and public holidays. The service is by appointment only and can be accessed by calling NHS 24 on 111.

Dr Jane Bruce, clinical director of the Out-of-Hours Service, said, “Public holiday periods are extremely busy times for Tayside’s Out-of-Hours Service and the teams in each locality, with support from colleagues across NHS Tayside, work very hard to cope with the huge challenges of dealing with an exceptionally high volume of sick patients.

“If you have a problem which cannot wait until GP surgeries reopen, you should contact NHS 24 and, if you need to be seen, an appointment or a home visit will be arranged. However, with some minor illnesses and injuries, it is not always necessary to see a doctor or nurse and you can get helpful advice from your local community pharmacist to care for yourself at home.

“By ensuring that you access the right service for treatment, you can help us to focus on emergencies and problems that cannot wait until after the holiday period.”

Top tips for the right treatment:-

· When your GP surgery is closed, and you’re too ill to wait until it re-opens, you can access appropriate out-of-hours services (including a nurse or GP) through NHS 24

· Your local Primary Care Emergency Centre out-of-hours service works with NHS 24 to make sure that urgent medical advice and care is always available to you

· If you live in a rural area and have a minor illness like flu or earache or a cut, minor burn or sprain, NHS 24 may direct you to your local Minor Injury & Illness Unit

· Your local pharmacist can provide a whole range of services including free advice, support and guidance on all your health problems. You can find a list of pharmacies open on the public holiday on our website at www.nhstayside.scot.nhs.uk or by contacting NHS inform on 0800 22 44 88

· Avoid a crisis, be prepared and get essentials now. Ensure you have ordered your regular medicines from your own GP surgery. A pharmacist can also advise you on a well-stocked medicine cabinet

· You can find a list of our hospitals and information on our website at www.nhstayside.scot.nhs.uk

· Find about your local health services and get health advice online at www.nhsinform.co.uk