The NHS in Devon has measures in place to keep local people and visitors safe as the county welcomes thousands of holidaymakers for the summer season.
With restrictions on holiday stays and day-tripping eased, Devonians are welcoming visitors attracted by the county’s glorious coastline and stunning countryside.
Doctors are encouraging everyone in the county to stay alert and respect Government safety rules on social distancing, isolating, face coverings and hand washing.
Reassuring local people
Dr Paul Johnson, Chair of NHS Devon Clinical Commissioning Group, the headquarters of the NHS in the county, said: “The tourism sector is vital to Devon’s economy and prosperity, and we can reassure local people and visitors that your NHS is here for you this summer.
“Access to some services might be slightly different due to the range of measures in place to keep people safe and we’d like people to choose the right service for their needs.
“And whether you live in Devon or are visiting us, it remains important to follow the latest advice on staying alert and controlling the virus.”
Advice is available to people providing and staying in holiday accommodation if someone falls ill with suspected COVID-19, while the NHS in Devon has helped produce a tourist charter and a graphic for display in holiday accommodation which gives practical advice on what to do if someone is unwell.
Help protect others
Tom Lewis, Consultant Microbiologist at Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust, added: “The best available scientific evidence is that wearing a face covering may reduce the spread of coronavirus droplets. This helps to protect others, especially if you are suffering from coronavirus, but not showing symptoms.
“By making face coverings part of our daily life, we are working together to reduce the spread of the virus in Devon.”
How to access local services
The NHS in Devon is ready for the increased number of people and is reminding local people and visitors how to access local services:
- Self-care is the best choice to treat minor illnesses and injuries like a coughs, colds, grazes, small cuts or a sore throat. They can be treated at home or in holiday accommodation with over-the-counter medicines and plenty of rest.
- Pharmacists advise and treat illnesses like hay fever, diarrhoea, earache, painful cough, sticky eye, teething and rashes – and by visiting your pharmacy you can avoid an unnecessary trip to your GP or A&E and save time. Find your nearest pharmacy here: nhs.uk/service-search/find-a-pharmacy/
- Minor Injury Services – always check local arrangements.
- NHS website – nhs.uk – always available for advice and guidance.
- NHS 111 click on nhs.uk (for people aged over five only) or call 111 if you’re feeling unwell, unsure or if you need health advice and guidance in non-life-threatening emergencies – available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- Urgent Mental Health Support – If you are an adult and need urgent mental health support, call: Devon and Torbay 0300 555 5000; Plymouth 01752 434922 (24 hours), Children and young people under 18, parents and carers in Plymouth can call 01752 435122
- A&E/999 are best used in an emergency for serious or life-threatening conditions like severe bleeding, breathing difficulties, severe chest pain and loss of consciousness. A&E departments are not an alternative to a GP appointment.