DIY enthusiasts urged to take care this Easter 

DIY and gardening accidents account for many thousands of hospital admissions every year. 

Which is why local GPs are urging people tempted to try their hand at DIY over the bank holiday to be careful – and stressed that for those with minor injuries for any condition or accident there are plenty of alternatives to accident and emergency. 

Dr Vasa Gnanapragasam, lead GP for Merton, said:  “The NHS remains very busy, but people can continue to get urgent care – GPs are offering more appointments, including evenings and weekends, for people with urgent health needs. 

“Accident and Emergency departments often see people with cuts, sprains or other DIY-related problems during bank holiday weekends. Most of these can be treated quickly using NHS 111 online for advice and signposting to the right services.”

GP practices will let their patients know how to access urgent medical help between 8am and 8pm, with contact information also available on practice websites.

People can also visit 111online or call 111 at any time, where they will be asked some questions about symptoms on the website, or by speaking to a fully trained adviser on the phone. 

Using 999 is for emergencies and should only be called if the situation is life-threatening. 

Please remember that A&E and 999 are for potentially life-threatening emergencies. There is a range of alternative NHS help available over the Bank Holiday, including: 

If you need urgent health care 

  • If it is a life-threatening emergency, then call 999
  • If you are told to go to hospital, then you must go. The NHS will help you get the care you need.

If you need advice from a pharmacist  

  • For minor medical problems, not related to coronavirus, many local pharmacies will be open and are able to help this weekend – although their opening times may be different
  • A number of pharmacies in London will be open for longer hours – search for a pharmacy at nhs.uk/service-search/find-a-pharmacy

If you think you need urgent dental treatment 

  • Call your dentist
  • If you cannot contact your dentist, or you do not have one, use the NHS 111 online service or call if you cannot get online
  • If an appointment is necessary, this will be arranged at an urgent dental care centre.

If you or someone you live with has coronavirus symptoms 

  • Stay at home and visit nhs.uk/coronavirus for health advice 
  • Do not go to your GP practice, pharmacy or A&E
  • If your symptoms worsen, or you feel that you cannot manage at home, please visit the NHS111 online coronavirus service. Call 111 if you cannot get online or you’ve been told to do so.

If you think you need advice from a GP 

  • GP services are available this Bank Holiday weekend
  • Contact your practice online or by phone to be assessed
  • If your practice is not open but an appointment is necessary, you will be advised of the next steps. Your appointment may be at another nearby service.