Accessing NHS services over the Christmas and New Year period
The NHS is here to help you over the Christmas and New Year period – so make sure you know your services to get the care you need.
GP practices will generally be closed on the bank holidays, so will not be making appointments for in-person or telephone consultations on those days. Remember 111 online can help you if you have a medical problem which isn’t an emergency, and you don’t know what to do. Alternatively you can contact the NHS 111 service by dialling 111.
Many pharmacies will also be closed, but some will operate on a rota system to provide cover. A full list of pharmacy opening times is available on the NHS England website. It is a good idea to be prepared for common health problems by stocking up the medicine cabinet with over-the-counter medicines, especially cold and flu remedies.
Please order any repeat prescriptions you require by Tuesday 20 December to ensure you have adequate provision over the bank holidays. You can find out about all the ways you can order your repeat prescriptions here. Please try to avoid going to your GP practice or pharmacy to order prescriptions and only phone them if you cannot order online or by an app.
GP hours over the bank holidays
GP practice services will largely be closed on the Christmas and New Year bank holidays, Monday 26 December, Tuesday 27 December and Monday 2 January. If you need medical advice on those days, please contact NHS 111 through either their online service https://111.nhs.uk or by calling 111.
NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. NHS 111 will be able to assess you and point you to the right service for you, based on your symptoms – whether that be to a GP, Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC), A&E or self-care – and can arrange a call back from a nurse, doctor or other trained health professional should you need it, to get you the support that you need.
If you are in a life-threatening situation
Please remember that if you have a medical emergency, such as a suspected heart attack, stroke, or other serious life-threatening condition, call 999.
It’s really important that people don’t put off seeing a dentist if they have toothache. What may seem like a relatively small issue can develop quickly into something more serious, resulting in even more pain and discomfort. So listen to your mouth and visit a dentist for advice as soon as possible if you have any signs of toothache or discomfort.
Please check the NHS website for other useful information about accessing NHS services over the bank holiday period.
Cold weather and falls
With temperatures falling, slips, trips and falls become more likely especially during wet, cold and icy conditions. Please take care. For advice on how to stay well visit https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/seasonal-health/keep-warm-keep-well/