GPs say A&E isn’t the only option for healthcare this Bank holiday in Barking and Dagenham

GPs are asking residents to be mindful of the health services available to them over the bank holiday weekend to make sure they get the right care in the right place and avoid over-burdening Accident and Emergency centres.

Out of hours doctors services, walk-in centres, pharmacies and the NHS 111 telephone service will be working over the weekend to help people access the most appropriate care.

Residents are reminded that going directly to Accident and Emergency (A&E) is not always the most effective of efficient form of care.

Dr Waseem Mohi chair of Barking and Dagenham Clinical Commissioning Group said: “Bank holidays are a time for relaxing and having fun but if you get sick or injure yourself doing DIY, the NHS is still on hand to help and it is worth knowing in advance what services are on offer.

Residents can visit to check the alternatives to A&E that are available.

Recent figures from the London Ambulance Service show 30,000 people in north east London who phoned 999 for an ambulance last year did not need to be taken to A&E.

It has been estimated that unnecessary A&E attendances cost up to £100 million a year in England.

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However, Dr Mohi said: “If you suspect a life threatening emergency, such as a heart attack or stroke, call 999.”