Summer Holiday Health Hints

As the school summer holidays are starting, the NHS is giving advice on what to do if children feel unwell or have a minor injury.

In the summer children can have health problems such as sunburn, sunstroke and dehydration, as well as stomach upsets, aches, sprains and strains, insect bites and allergies which can be treated without the need for a GP appointment with some basic tips and medicine cabinet essentials. www.nhs.uk is a good place to begin, alternatively if you would like to talk to someone your pharmacist is an excellent place to start.

Dr Peter Fink, a GP in South Manchester, said: “The aim of offering this advice is to encourage parents to try self care for these conditions before they decide they need to go to see a doctor or go to A&E, which is for people with life threatening conditions. Some of the symptoms that accompany summer common complaints are unpleasant, but will begin to improve by themselves after a few days.

“Pharmacists and chemists can offer advice on common problems such as coughs, colds, aches and pains, as well as healthy eating and stopping smoking. They can also help you decide whether you need to see a doctor.”

If your children need to see a doctor when your doctor’s or dentist’s surgery is closed, you can call the local out of hours service.

All Manchester GP surgeries link to a GP Out of Hours service as soon as they close their doors each day and Manchester dentists all link to a dental out of hours service.

The GP Out of Hours service is a separate service with doctors who work round the clock to offer help, advice and treatment when you need it. If you need to see or speak to a doctor when your surgery is closed, you can just call the usual surgery number and you’ll be put through automatically or given another number to call.

The Out of Hours GP service is provided by GO TO DOC, a local not-for-profit company. Following a phone call, specialist clinical staff will arrange telephone advice, a treatment centre appointment or a home visit if one is clinically necessary. You can call them directly on 0161 336 3252. This number is available between 6.30pm and 8am Monday to Friday and on weekends.

The Dental Out of Hours service can be contacted on 0161 337 2246. It covers the areas of Manchester, Oldham, Salford, Stockport, Trafford and Tameside and Glossop. This number is available between 6.30pm and 10pm Monday to Friday, and 10am to 10pm on weekends and bank holidays.

If you do not have a regular dentist, a dental In-Hours Helpline can be contacted on 0161 476 9649 between 8am and 6pm Monday to Friday. If you live in Manchester and require urgent dental treatment, you will be directed to a clinic within the Manchester area.

So don’t forget if you or your family have an illness or injury that won’t go away, make an appointment with your GP. To find your nearest GP service, go to NHS Choices: www.nhs.uk

You can find helpful advice on the Manchester Choose Well website at: http://www.choosewellmanchester.org.uk/

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For more information please contact NHS Greater Manchester Commissioning Support Unit on 0161 212 4885 or 07773819316 or email communications.gmcsu@nhs.net