BLYTH TALL SHIPS: Health services to be in place throughout Regatta

The Stavros S Niarchos tall ship, which is docked in Blyth. Picture by Roy Riley''.
The Stavros S Niarchos tall ship, which is docked in Blyth. Picture by Roy Riley''.

Health services are working with organisers to ensure the right NHS services are available during the North Sea Tall Ships Regatta.

Thousands of visitors are expected to visit Blyth during the Tall Ships event, with local NHS officials reminding people to keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water and apply sun cream during hot or humid weather.

A number of first aid posts will be based on the Tall Ships site throughout the event to help deal with any minor injuries and a range of other NHS services are available.

People are also being urged to plan ahead and order any repeat prescriptions they will need well in advance from their GP for the bank holiday weekend.

Local pharmacies will be open during the weekend.

There will be road and parking restrictions, as well as a one-way system in place during the event however emergency access and access for community, social care staff and carers for home visits will be maintained at all times.

Organisers and health providers are advising people to enjoy themselves and to be safe in the sun or the water.

Dr Alistair Blair, chief clinical officer for Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “The Tall Ships Regatta promises to be a fantastic event for people living locally and visitors and we want everyone to enjoy themselves and stay safe.

“We’d urge people to look after themselves by keeping well hydrated, applying sunscreen and sticking to shaded areas where possible and as we do not know what the weather will throw at us, be prepared for all eventualities and bring extra layers and waterproofs.

“If drinking alcohol, we would advise people to do so in moderation and drink water regularly.

“As with all bank holidays, we’d urge people to plan ahead and make sure they have all the medications they need for the weekend. It you need more over-the-counter medication or advice from a pharmacist, it’s worth remembering that there are pharmacies open all weekend, including bank holiday Monday.

“NHS 111 is available 24/7 as normal for urgent medical advice and we’d ask people to use the NHS wisely and leave urgent and emergency care services for those who need them most.”

Coun Val Tyler, Cabinet member for Arts, Leisure and Culture at Northumberland County Council, said: “We are expecting lots of residents and visitors in Blyth for this incredibly exciting event and we would like everyone to have an enjoyable and healthy weekend.

“Traffic controls will be in place to ease congestion and emergency access will be maintained at all times, including to the hospital and GP services in Blyth.

“Our Park and Ride car parks will have regular shuttle buses that will take visitors to the heart of the Regatta and tickets can be booked now at a discounted rate via the Tall Ships website.”

Limited Blue Badge parking is available but must be pre-booked by calling Ticketline on 0161 832 1111.

Martin Lawlor, chief executive, Port of Blyth, said: “We want visitors to the Tall Ships Regatta to have a great visit and we echo the advice of health services for people to have a great weekend and to take sensible precautions such as preparing for the weather.”

Up to 30 Tall Ships are expected to gather at Blyth for the event which takes place over the August bank holiday weekend August 26 to 29, and features five zones of free family entertainment, including nightly fireworks.