Three requests from the NHS ahead of the bank holiday weekend

Three requests are being made by the NHS to people across Suffolk and north east Essex in advance of the upcoming bank holiday weekend:

  • Enjoy the bank holiday, there isn’t another for four months!
  • Do all you can to support the NHS during this busy time by being prepared and knowing what to do if you feel unwell – help remains available to support your physical and mental wellbeing
  • Remember that COVID is still with us so continue to take precautions to best protect yourself, your family and the community

Dr Freda Bhatti, a GP in Colchester, said: “I urge people to enjoy the holiday weekend and to remain cautious and remember that COVID remains prevalent within our communities.   

“The NHS remains under immense pressure right now, so please do all you can to support our staff, by taking time to consider the most appropriate health care options for you and your family.”

East Suffolk GP and Professor of Integrated Care at the University of Suffolk, Mark Shenton, says: “Make some useful preparations for the holiday weekend by remembering that GP practices will be closed on the holiday Monday and that some pharmacies will be open throughout the long weekend.

“Take a look in your medicine cabinet to check that you have the essentials, such as sticking plasters and paracetamol, so you are ready to more easily deal with minor illness and injury. Go to the pharmacy and ask for advice on what you should have at home to best meet your family’s needs.

“And if you take prescription medicine it’s important you have enough to last over the holidays. When people run out of their medicine it can be very distressing, so please take time to ensure you’ll have enough to last. You’ll need to factor in the time it takes for your GP practice to process your prescription request as well as the time needed by the pharmacy to dispense it, so don’t leave it too late.”

Dr Christopher Browning, a GP in Long Melford, said: “If you feel unwell and don’t know what to do, you can access urgent medical help and advice at any time by either calling NHS 111 or visiting the NHS 111 Online website. NHS 111 is manned by trained advisors who can offer advice or arrange for you to see a doctor or nurse if appropriate.

“NHS 111 is also the number to call 24/7 if you are experiencing mental health crisis, and by choosing option 2 you’ll be able to speak to specially-trained mental health staff to discuss your mental health needs.”

  • GP practices will be closed on Monday August 29
  • Some pharmacies will be open over the holiday weekend with the list of locations and opening times on the NHS England website
  • NHS 111 is available 24/7 by telephone and online for help and advice if you or a family member feels unwell
  • Mental health crisis support is available 24/7 by calling NHS 111 and choosing option number 2
  • COVID vaccinations are still available, and everyone eligible will be made welcome. Visit for trusted facts and locations and times of walk-in clinics and details on how to make a booked appointment
  • The Suffolk and North East Essex Wellbeing Support Service website is a great local source of information to support physical and mental wellbeing.