Published on: 31 May 2022

The four-day Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend is almost here and local NHS staff are calling on the public to do their bit by staying safe while enjoying the celebrations.

The NHS across the region is expecting a busy period over the extended celebrations, which run from Thursday, June 2, to Sunday, June 5, to mark the Queen’s 70 years on the throne.

To ensure everyone enjoys themselves while keeping safe, people are being asked to be prepared by ordering any repeat prescriptions and restocking their medicine cabinet before the bank holiday.

As part of this, South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust’s Emergency Department teams, who are already extremely busy, are urging people to think about whether their service is the right place to seek treatment.

Consultant, Kevin Joisce, who is clinical lead of the department at Sunderland Royal Hospital, has said the team, along with their colleagues at South Tyneside District Hospital, are ready to help those most in need, but has urged people to help by doing their bit to stay safe. 

Kevin Joisce.jpg

He said: “We know that people are excited to celebrate the Queen’s jubilee and will have parties and events planned.

"While we all want to enjoy ourselves during the long weekend, we don’t want to see people end up in our emergency department with illnesses and injuries that could have been avoided.

"Our Emergency Department teams are already facing a lot of pressure and while we are always here to help, we know as the schools break up and the long Bank Holiday begins, we will see more people come through our doors.

“Our priority is to treat those who have serious and life-threatening conditions. Those with more minor illness and injury are more likely to face a long wait to be seen as we prioritise caring for those who need it most.

“NHS staff across our region have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic and many will be working during the bank holiday weekend.

"Please do your bit to support us and take care of yourself and others this weekend.

"We often see a lot of illness and injury linked to alcohol. No-one wants to miss the celebrations by ending up in hospital, so drink sensibly and if we are lucky enough to have some good weather, keep hydrated and protected. 

“Anyone who suffers a minor injury or illness can contact the NHS 111 service online or by phone.

"This has helped lots of people get urgent advice and can arrange appointments for you to be seen by a health professional if you need to be.

“Pharmacists are well trained and great at offering advice about how to look after yourself and offer treatments you can use at home.

“Our emergency departments are here to help around the clock, but please do think about if it’s the right place to come.

"This will make all the difference when it comes to supporting the NHS during this busy weekend.”

Sue Taylor, head of alcohol policy, Balance, urged people to celebrate the jubilee while remembering to be sensitive to the needs of others.

“This is a time when neighbours and families will be getting together and hopefully having a great time, but we would urge people to be sensitive to the fact that alcohol is not at the centre of everyone’s celebration," she said.
“Many people in our region are struggling with alcohol addiction or have had issues in the past.
"For them being surrounded by alcohol makes life difficult and because people often hide addiction, we don’t always know who in our friendship group or wider family has been affected. 
"Others choose not to drink alcohol for a variety of reasons, including religious or cultural considerations - and might feel uncomfortable when alcohol is flowing. 
"The jubilee is a fantastic opportunity for bringing people together – particularly after the hardships of the pandemic – and we would encourage everyone to celebrate in an inclusive and sensitive way.”

Top tips for the Jubilee bank holiday include:

  • Be prepared for common health problems by keeping a well-stocked medicine cabinet at home and making sure that you have enough prescription medication to last over the bank holiday weekend
  • If you are visiting a healthcare settings, please remember to wear a face covering and use available handwashing and alcohol gel facilities.
  • Health advice and information is available via the NHS App or the NHS website, or from your local GP practice website which links to a range of online services and, in most cases, you can order repeat prescriptions online. 
  • For children’s health advice you can download The Little Orange Book, which covers a wide range of illnesses in children from common minor ailments including teething, constipation and colds, through to more serious conditions download here.
  • If you are concerned about how much you, or someone you know, drinks, there’s lots of help out there. You can speak to your GP, find your local alcohol support service or contact:

Drinkline Freephone: 0300 123 1110

Alcoholics Anonymous: 0845 769 7555

Anyone who needs emergency care can call 999 or head to their nearest Emergency Department.

People should only use that part of the service if they or someone else has a serious or life-threatening emergency such as:

  • loss of consciousness
  • acute confused state and fits that are not stopping
  • chest pain
  • breathing difficulties
  • severe bleeding that cannot be stopped
  • severe allergic reactions
  • severe burns or scalds
  • stroke
  • major trauma such as a road traffic accident.

Details of pharmacies available during the Bank Holiday can be found by clicking here.