Prepare for a healthy Easter Bank Holiday

Health leaders in Humber and North Yorkshire are encouraging people to “get prepared for Easter”.

With the long weekend fast approaching, NHS Humber and North Yorkshire Integrated Care Board (ICB) says there are proactive steps we can all take to ensure our healthcare needs are met.

The ICB’s Clinical Lead, Dr Nigel Wells, said: “With many GP practices closed for the long bank holiday weekend and changes to usual pharmacy rotas, its important people are prepared.

“If you’re taking regular medication, it starts with making sure you’ve got your repeat prescription ordered in good time, so you’re not left short. In the run-up to Easter, pharmacies are very busy and processing times can take a little longer than normal.

“The quickest and easiest way to order repeat medicine is via the NHS App or GP Online Services – you can do this 24/7 from the comfort of your own home, without having to leave the house.

“Before you order repeat prescriptions, do check what medicines you already have at home and only order the items that you need.

“You can also prepare for the Easter weekend by keeping a medicine cabinet at home, with common remedies like paracetamol, ibuprofen and anti-diarrhoea tablets – just in case you need them.

“If you do become unwell and need advice or help, pharmacies can deal with lots of minor ailments. If you feel it’s something a little more serious – including dental emergencies – NHS 111 will help direct you to the help you need. You can call 111 or search NHS 111 online.

“We would never discourage anyone from coming forward to seek help when they’re unwell, but we would ask people not go to A&E unless it’s a genuine life and limb emergency. A&Es tend to be very busy over public holidays and we want to ensure critical services aren’t being taken up by people with minor illnesses who could easily get help or treatment elsewhere.”

Your Top 10 Easter Tips

Prescriptions: order in good time

People who rely on regular medications are advised to order their prescriptions ahead of time. Ordering prescriptions in advance ensures that medications are available when needed, preventing any interruptions in treatment during the bank holiday weekend.

Self-care: stock your home medicine cabinet with over-the-counter remedies

Being prepared with items like paracetamol, ibuprofen, indigestion tablets, and creams to treat stings and bites could save you a trip to a pharmacy if you become unwell.

Think Pharmacy First: visit your nearest pharmacy for minor ailments

Pharmacists are trained professionals, and due to the primary care access recovery plan, patients can now access treatment for seven common conditions without needing to see a GP. Highly trained health professionals can assess and treat patients for sinusitis, sore throat, earache, infected insect bite, impetigo, shingles, and uncomplicated urinary tract infections in women (under the age of 65) without needing a GP appointment or prescription. Some pharmacies may have altered opening hours over the bank holiday weekend. Click here to find your local pharmacy’s opening hours.

Talk before you walk: use NHS 111

NHS 111 – online, over the phone or via the NHS App – is free to use and will help connect you with the right care over the Easter weekend if you do become unwell. They may suggest visiting a local pharmacy, or if it’s something a little more serious they may direct you to your nearest Urgent Treatment Centre or GP out-of-hours service.

Let’s Get Better: find the right care

If you do become unwell over the bank holiday weekend, you can visit the Let’s Get Better website for information about health services you can access. The website also offers information on self-care and how to treat minor illnesses and injuries, such as sore throats, grazes, and hangovers, at home.

In an emergency: call 999

In medical emergencies that could be life or limb-threatening, such as a heart attack, stroke, severe blood loss, or choking, please do not hesitate to call 999 or go to the nearest hospital emergency department.

Run out of medicine: call 111 of visit a pharmacy

If you have run out of prescribed medicine and need some urgently, there are a few ways to get an emergency supply, including out of hours. You can call NHS 111 to discuss your options – or visit a pharmacy. Pharmacies can provide certain emergency medicines to patients even if they don’t have a prescription, though you may need to pay.

Urgent mental health need: 24-hour advice and support

You may need urgent help for many reasons. The important thing to know is you will not be wasting anyone’s time. You can find an urgent mental health helpline in your area by visiting

Seeing a dentist: in an emergency or out-of-hours

If you need dental treatment in an emergency, contact your dental practice if you are registered. If you are not registered with a dentist, contact NHS 111. If you’re in pain while waiting to see a dentist, take painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen. NHS 111 can also offer other self-care advice. Only go to A&E if you have:

  • heavy bleeding
  • injuries to your face, mouth, or teeth
  • severe swelling, or increasing swelling of your mouth, lips, throat, neck or eye

Download: get the NHS App | access the Orcha health app library

The NHS App gives you a simple and secure way to access a range of NHS services. Download the NHS App on your smartphone or tablet via the Google Play or App store. There’s lots of accredited health and wellbeing apps you can download from our Orcha health app library too – just visit