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Get health help – without leaving the beach

Visitors to Norfolk and Waveney’s busiest holiday hotspots will be able to get fast, effective help for minor injuries without having to leave the beach this summer – in turn keeping emergency departments free for life-threatening emergencies.

NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is working with St John Ambulance to set up special pop-up treatment units in Great Yarmouth and Hunstanton during every weekend in August. A third will be in place in Gorleston over the bank holiday weekend.

The units will be staffed by trained volunteers and advanced first aiders who will be able to provide basic life support, as well as help for bleeding, burns, sprains, sunburn, allergies, bites and stings.

It is hoped they will help to reduce the number of people going to hospital emergency departments (EDs) with minor problems which could be more effectively managed elsewhere.

The units are being introduced following the launch of the CCG’s happy healthy holidays campaign, which encourages people to choose the right service for illnesses and injuries, which could include NHS111, pharmacies, minor injury units or self-care.

Cath Byford, Chief Nurse with the CCG, said: “We are expecting a surge in visitors to Norfolk and Waveney this summer as more families choose to holiday closer to home. These convenient pop-up clinics will help them to get fast, effective help for minor injuries or illnesses without having to leave the beach.

“Our colleagues at St John provide fantastic support to the public and have worked hand in hand with the NHS for many years. Their trained first aiders will be able to help with a wide range of minor conditions, and can also refer anyone who needs acute treatment to the right service to meet their needs.

“As well as helping to ease pressure on the NHS, this means that people will be able to get back to enjoying their holiday or day out more quickly.

“We would also urge the public to use NHS 111, which can direct and book them into other services, as well as continuing to self care and use pharmacies wherever possible so that our emergency departments can focus on treating people with life-threatening emergencies.”

The pop-up clinics are being introduced following the success of similar initiatives held across Norfolk and Waveney in previous summers. A survey of people who used a pop-up unit in Hunstanton in 2018 showed that 38% would have visited an ED had it not been available.

Chris Levis, District Manager for St John Ambulance in Norfolk, said: “The pop-up treatment units have been a real success in previous years and have helped lessen the need for people to go to A&E with minor injuries and conditions.

“We’re looking forward to working with our friends and colleagues at the CCG again over the next few weeks at these immensely popular Norfolk beach locations. We would, however, also encourage people to continue to be vigilant in crowded areas and bear in mind the advice about protecting oneself against COVID-19.”

The units at Hunstanton and Great Yarmouth will be available from this Saturday (7 August) until bank holiday Monday (30 August) and will be open from 10am to 7pm. The Gorleston clinic will run from Saturday 28 to Monday 30 August.

The units can be found at the following locations:

  • Splash Pad, Gorleston, NR31 6BT – (what3words – smuggles.forget.demanding)
  • Marine Parade, Great Yarmouth, NR30 2EJ – (what3words – deeply.crew.hats)
  • North Promenade, Hunstanton, PE36 6DZ (what3words – flagging.tinned.softly)

Ends

 

Note to editors: A range of different services are available for people who need medical help this summer. This includes:

  • NHS 111, which can provide advice if you have an urgent medical problem and are not sure what to do. They can direct you to the most appropriate place and even book a GP consultation or ED slot if necessary. Call 111 or visit 111.nhs.uk
  • Pharmacies, which can provide expert help and advice on common conditions such as hayfever, colds, cuts and bruises and insect bites. If your symptoms suggest it’s something more serious, they will direct you to the right service.
  • The NHS Walk-In Centre at Rouen House on Rouen Road, Norwich, which is open between 7am and 9pm daily and can help with minor cuts and wounds, strains and sprains and skin complaints. You will be triaged at the front door and then treated or signposted elsewhere if necessary.
  • The Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) at Cromer Hospital on Mill Road is open seven days-a-week, including bank holidays, from 8am to 7.45pm. It provides treatment for minor injuries such as minor wounds, burns or simple fractures. Please call 01603 646230 for advice about whether your injury is suitable for the MIU.

In west Norfolk, people can go to Wisbech MIU, which is at North Cambridgeshire Hospital, The Park, Wisbech, PE13 3AB. It opens from 8.30am to 6pm Monday to Friday.

  • GP surgeries, which can help with problems such as vomiting and stomach ache. Holiday-makers should contact their own GP practice for any health matters they are already treating them for. Their own GP practice can also send prescriptions electronically to a local pharmacy to collect.
  • In life-threatening emergencies dial 999.

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