BNSSG Healthier Together

School’s out, but healthcare options are still in


As the school year draws to close, local health leaders are reminding people to think about their health needs as summer holidays begin.

Dr Geeta Iyer, local GP and deputy chief medical officer at Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board (ICB) said:

“As we reach the end of the school year, many of us will be looking forward to a break and spending some quality time outdoors with the family. No matter where your summer holiday takes you this year, you should take the right steps to stay healthy and well.

“Simple precautions, such as making sure you and your children wear sunscreen and packing enough of your repeat prescriptions to cover any trips away, are key to avoiding calling on health services.”

Top tips to stay healthy and well over the summer holidays:

  • If you’re away from home in England this summer and need a GP appointment, please call your surgery back home. Your own surgery is used to helping by phone, video and email.
  • Make sure you have enough of your prescribed medications, especially for any trips away from home, ordering more in advance if you need to. If you do need more of your prescription medicines while you’re away, contact your usual GP and they can send it to any pharmacy you choose.
  • Ensure you have a fully stocked first aid kit at home or packed to travel. Find out what you need here on the NHS website.
  • Avoid sunburn by wearing sunscreen and spending time in the shade. See the NHS website for more sun safety tips.
  • Use the NHS find a pharmacy tool to seek help for a range of seasonal ailments, including insect bites and stings.
  • Check for ticks after walks in the countryside. Find out how to remove and avoid ticks on the Sirona care & health website.
  • Take precautions to ease symptoms of hay fever. Pharmacists can also help if you’re struggling with itchy and watery eyes, sneezing or blocked nose.

If you are ill or injured, and it is not life-threatening, but are unsure of which NHS service to use, can help you with:

  • where to get help for your symptoms.
  • how to find general health information and advice.
  • getting help with an existing medical condition.
  • how to get mental health help.
  • where to get an emergency supply of your prescribed medicine.
  • getting emergency dental appointment.

For life threatening emergencies, like breathing difficulties, heart attack like pain (heavy weight in the centre of your chest) contact 999 or go to your nearest A&E.

Dr Geeta Iyer adds:

“While your physical health is really important, it’s also important that be kind to our minds by taking the steps, no matter how small, to look after our mental health and wellbeing.”

Top ways to look after your mental health and wellbeing:

  • Every Mind Matters aims to help everyone to find the little things we can all do to look after our mental health and show how they can add up to make a big difference; helping everyone to lead happier, healthier lives and cope with life’s challenges.At its heart is the free, NHS-approved Mind Plan, available on the website. By answering five short questions people get a personalised mental health action plan, providing practical tips to help them deal with stress and anxiety, boost their mood, sleep better and feel more in control.
  • VitaMinds offers expert support to all adults 16 and over through a range of short-term psychological therapies for people suffering from a range of mental health challenges, such as depression, low mood, anxiety, panic attacks and more.The VitaMinds service can be contacted directly, without from referral from your GP or other healthcare service. The team will take the time to understand and listen to what you need to get back on track and provide a range of evidence-based talking therapies as well as guidance and advice on community services that can support you in your local area.
  • ChatHealth is available to all children and young people aged 11 to 19. It’s a free confidential text service that enables young people to text Sirona care & health’s school nurses confidentially to ask for advice on a range of issues, from mental health and relationships, to bullying and self-harm.The ChatHealth line is open from 9am to 5pm during school holidays, excluding bank holidays, as well as term time.
    To use the service, text 07312 263093. You do not have to give your name.