DOCTORS in West Devon are urging people to put a few extra things on their shopping lists ahead of the weekend.

Most GP practices are closed over the bank holiday weekend and many pharmacies will be closed or have limited opening hours on bank holiday Monday.

Stocking up on plasters, painkillers, antiseptic cream and more won’t just come in handy this bank holiday weekend — it could really help ease pressure on local NHS services.

Having a well-stocked medicine cabinet means you won’t have far to go to treat a grazed knee, a sore throat or a headache.

Other ways you can be prepared include making sure you order any repeat prescriptions early so you have them in time for the weekend, and making sure you know when your local NHS services are open.

Dr David Jenner, a GP from Mid Devon and a clinical chair for NHS Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group, said: ’We are reminding people to stock up ahead of the weekend so they don’t get caught out.

’Many minor illnesses and injuries can be treated quickly and conveniently at home with a well-stocked medicine cabinet.

’Not only does this help ease pressure on the local NHS, it also means less time spent waiting for treatment, which means people can get straight back to enjoying their long weekend.’

There are a number of steps people can take to make sure they are prepared for the bank holiday weekend.

These include:

• Requesting repeat prescriptions in good time to cover the few days when surgeries are closed

• Taking sufficient quantities of medicines away for holidays or weekend breaks

• Stocking up the medicine cabinet with over the counter remedies for ailments such as headaches, stomach upsets and indigestion, including remedies for children

• Checking the opening times of local pharmacies and GP surgeries.

If you find you need treatment over the bank holiday weekend, NHS NEW Devon CCG has issued some tips to help you choose the right NHS service:

• Self-care - for minor illnesses, combine medicines for coughs, colds or flu with plenty of rest.

• Pharmacies - pharmacists are trained to help people with minor illnesses and can advise on medicine that can be bought over the counter. You can check your nearest pharmacy’s opening times over the bank holiday weekend here:

• NHS 111 – for non-emergency health needs, 24 hours a day, as well as help to find services. Go to or call 111.

• NHS minor injuries unit (MIU) and Walk-in Centres (WICs) - for treatment of minor illnesses or injuries, without an appointment. For details of your nearest MIU or WIC, go to

• Most GP surgeries are closed on bank holiday Monday. Check with your GP practice for their opening times.

• Hospital emergency departments or 999 – please only attend hospital emergency departments if you have an immediate and serious problem that cannot be dealt with by the other services. 999 is only for critical or life-threatening situations.