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Choose the right service for weather-related illnesses

With the weather warming up this week, the NHS in Norfolk and Waveney is urging residents and holiday-makers to choose the right service for illnesses and injuries.

Health and care services are highlighting the range of support available for people who might be experiencing weather-related issues, with the aim of reducing the number of people going to emergency departments (A&Es) with minor problems.

Hay fever, insect bites/stings, sun burn and dehydration are common issues and can be easily treated at home or by calling NHS 111 or visiting a pharmacy, walk-in centre or minor injuries unit.  

In Norfolk and Waveney residents and visitors have a wide range of support for anyone who needs medical help. As well as self-caring for minor illnesses and injuries using a well-stocked first aid kit, people can:

  • Contact NHS 111 by calling 111 or visiting for advice on what to do and where best to go for treatment for urgent medical problems.

Anyone who thinks they need A&E should call 111 first, and they can book a time slot at an emergency department if necessary. Calling 111 first will help to ensure that patients receive the right care in the right place, in a timely and safe way.

  • Visit a pharmacy for expert help and advice on common conditions such as hay fever, colds, cuts and bruises and insect bites.
  • Drop into the NHS Walk-In Centre at Rouen House on Rouen Road in Norwich. Open between 7am and 9pm daily, it can help with minor cuts and wounds, strains and sprains and skin complaints.
  • Go to the Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) in Cromer or Wisbech, which have x-ray facilities and can provide treatment for minor wounds, burns, simple fractures and other injuries. People can call 111 for their locations and opening times.

Dr Louise Smith, Norfolk’s Director for Public Health, said: “A lot of people are really looking forward to the sunshine and warm weather, and there’s no reason not to enjoy yourself provided you take some simple steps. Keep out of the sun in the middle of the day, apply sunscreen and wear appropriate clothing – including a hat – and you can stay safe. It’s also vital to stay cool, drink plenty of water and avoid excessive alcohol or caffeine: these are simple things we all know we can do and if make time to do them, we can safely and happily enjoy the summer weather.

“If you have any underlying conditions or concerns, you can call NHS 111 for advice and they can direct you to the support you need to stay safe.”

Top tips for staying cool

  1. Try to stay out of the heat during the hottest part of the day (11am – 3pm). Avoid strenuous outdoor activities during these times.
  1. If you must go out, stay in the shade where possible and wear a hat.
  1. Drink plenty of water, avoid excess alcohol and caffeine.
  1. Keep windows closed when the room is cooler than it is outside. Open windows at night when the temperature has dropped. Use blinds or shades if you have them.
  1. Have cool showers, baths, or put a damp cloth on the back of your neck to cool down.
  1. Check in on the elderly, keep a close eye on babies and young children, and those with existing health conditions.

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