Local health leaders are encouraging residents to pack self-care essential to help them enjoy the summer safely, whether they are at home or further afield.
The simple advice comes as many families will be going away for the first time since the start of the pandemic, and at a time when NHS services are experiencing an intense level of sustained demand.
A holiday first-aid kit, which contains the usual items found in the average home’s medicine cabinet, as well as travel essentials, such as sun cream, antihistamines and plasters, can help prevent unnecessary trips to the nearest hospital emergency department or walk-in centre.
Sun-safe clothing and accessories, such as sunglasses, hats and loose-fitting clothing, should also feature on the suitcase checklist, along with painkillers, bite cream and after-sun.
Being prepared with the right kit, as well as knowing how to deal with minor illness and injury when it occurs, will mean treatment can be applied quickly and helps to ensure busy frontline NHS teams to focus their attention on people most in need of their care.
Gill May, Chief Nurse at the Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Integrated Care Board, said: “The advice we’re giving out is nothing new, but it may help as a timely reminder amid the excitement of a long-awaited trip away.
“Planning ahead, being prepared and remembering all the usual holiday precautions, such as not drinking to excess, wearing sun cream, packing prescription medicine and staying hydrated, will help people enjoy their getaway, while staying safe and healthy.”
People enjoying a summer staycation are also encouraged to plan ahead to see what local health facilities, such as community pharmacies, are near their destination.
Pharmacies can be a good resource for people unfamiliar with where they are staying, as not only can pharmacists provide quick health advice without the need for a person to be registered at a nearby GP practice, they can also dispense prescriptions and advise on other over-the-counter items.
Those heading abroad are also advised to pack a first-aid kit, and to download the NHS App to their smartphone or table, so that health advice and information is instantly available whenever required.
Gill May continued: “It’s also really important to remember that Covid-19 is still with us and those who start to show symptoms of Covid-19 while on holiday should, wherever possible, limit their contact with others and rest up until feeling better.”