Each summer, data from our four emergency departments suggests that up to one quarter of patients are visitors to the county. 

Devon’s NHS is reminding visitors to the county that there are plenty of options available to them, should they get injured or poorly while on holiday or if they have left their medication at home.

In the vast majority of cases a pharmacist can help you with advice and over the counter remedies. Whether it’s sunburn, an insect bite, an upset stomach or earache a local pharmacy can offer quick and easy assistance for minor conditions.  You can find your nearest open pharmacy online here.

If your condition is more serious or you have forgotten a prescription, the best person to help is your GP back home.  They will be able to offer an appointment by telephone or online and can arrange a prescription for you.

NHS Devon’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr Nigel Acheson, said, “Here in Devon, we love to welcome tourists, whether they’re here on holiday or visiting family or friends.  We want to make sure that our visitors know how to access medical help if they need it.

“Using a local pharmacy or contacting your own GP, is the fastest and easiest way to get help with minor conditions while you’re away from home.  It can save you a long wait in our busy emergency departments and leaves our staff free to care for the people who most urgently need their help.”

For urgent care NHS111 can help online or by phoning 111 and can refer you to a Minor Injuries Unit, Urgent Treatment Centre for or Emergency Department for life threatening emergencies.

Prevention is, of course, better than cure and you can reduce your chances of some of the most commons problems by wearing shoes outside, keeping out of the sun during the hottest part of the day, covering up bare skin and wearing insect repellent or sun cream.

NHS England has published a short film with helpful advice for visitors on the best way to access medical care during the summer months.