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Take Care Your Health Bank Holiday

28th May 2010

Health services in Bristol have urged people in Bristol to take care this Bank Holiday and to avoid going to hospital emergency departments unnecessarily.

Hospitals in Bristol city centre have already been exceptionally busy this month and are often busy on bank holidays.

Dr Hugh Annett, director of public health in Bristol said: "There are a whole range of health services available right through the bank holiday without people needing to go to hospital emergency departments. I would urge all patients to make the best choice when seeking care and, where possible, avoid a stressful trip to Emergency departments or phoning 999."

Choices include:

* Walk-in centres in South Bristol, Knowle Health Park open 9 am to 9pm every day; and city walk-in Centre, Broad Street open 10 am to 6pm on Sunday and Monday, 8am - 8pm on Saturday.
* 8am - 8pm Walk-in GP surgeries in South Bristol and Broadmead Medical Centre, in the Broadmead Boots store. You don't need to be registered there or need to book an appointment.

* Southmead minor injuries unit at Southmead Hospital is open 9 am to 9pm every day and can treat more minor issues such as sprains or cuts.

* Outside of Bristol, Orchard Medical Centre, Macdonald Walk, Kingswood, Bristol BS15 8NJ.Tel: 0117 9805100Open 8am-8pm seven days a week including bank holidays. (Treats minor illnesses and injuries, but not broken bones).

* Many pharmacies are open on bank holidays and they can give advice and tips

* NHS Direct is also available on 0845 4647 - offering a confidential health help line available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust has experienced an unprecedented rise in the number of people attending Accident and Emergency departments. In April 2010, the Trust's A&E department saw 9,869 patients, which is 420 more than in April 2009.

The Trust is also seeing more emergency patients who need to be admitted. The Bristol Royal Infirmary alone admitted 230 more emergencies in April than the same period last year, which is an 11% increase.

Irene Gray, Chief Operating Officer, University Hospitals Bristol, said:
"Over the last two months, we have seen a dramatic rise in the number of people attending our Accident and Emergency departments.

"Bank holidays can be an especially busy time with many more patients attending A&E. It's therefore important that people in Bristol don't call on A&E departments with minor problems which may take up time needed for seriously injured or seriously ill patients."

For more information on NHS Bristol services, see: