The local NHS is encouraging residents to be prepared for the upcoming May bank holidays (1 May and 8 May) and to know what to do if they, or a family member, is unwell.

Dr Anna Davey, local GP leader at NHS Mid and South Essex, said: “It’s important to know how much medication you have left and plan in advance when you need to order more to avoid a last-minute panic.

“Please remember to order any repeat prescription medication that you need ahead of the bank holiday weekends. Many GP surgeries will need at least 48 hours’ notice to issue a repeat prescription and pharmacies need time to make sure they have the right medicines in stock and safely dispense, so please order as early as possible.

If you are visiting family and friends over any of the Bank Holiday weekends, remember to take your medication with you. Please also remind any visitors you are expecting to bring their medication with them.”

Residents are encouraged to plan ahead and carefully consider the best source of help and support over the bank holiday.

While GP practices are now offering evening and Saturday appointments, residents are reminded that GP surgeries will be closed on Monday 1 May  and Monday 8 May.

If you or a family member feels unwell, firstly visit the NHS 111 online symptom checker or telephone NHS 111 for help and advice.  Both are open 24 hours a day.  Local pharmacies can also offer help and advice to manage the signs and symptoms of minor illness.

As always, everybody can play a part by taking simple steps to look after themselves, their loved ones and by checking on vulnerable neighbours.

For more information on when to call 999 and when to go to A&E, visit via the button below.