Accessing NHS services over the May bank holidays 

The NHS is here to help you over the May bank holiday – so make sure you know your services to get the care you need.

Anybody who needs medical advice or to visit a pharmacy over the coming May bank holiday should plan ahead to allow for reduced GP and pharmacy provision over the long weekend.

GP practices will generally be closed on the bank holiday, so will not be making appointments for in-person or telephone consultations on those days. Anyone who needs non-urgent advice should contact NHS 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.

GP hours over the bank holidays

GP practice services will largely be closed on Monday, 2 May. If you need medical advice, please contact NHS 111 through either their online service or by calling 111.

NHS 111 will be able to assess you and, if you should need it, book you a time slot at an accident and emergency department to make sure you can be seen safely. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Medicines Order Line

The Medicine Order Line (MOL) does not open on Bank Holidays, so will be open Tuesday – Friday, 8am – 4pm next week. It is normally open Monday to Friday 8am – 4pm.

For the Jubilee bank holiday, the MOL will accept patient prescription requests up to 14 days early rather than the usual seven days.

The MOL does not offer an emergency service for prescription requests and we politely ask patients not to contact the MOL for emergencies. 

For patients who have access to the internet, they can also use GP practice online ordering systems, the NHS app, or patients can email the MOL and receive a call back within 48hours from one of the operators. Emails are manned throughout the day alongside the live lines.

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, to call 999

Community pharmacy services over the bank holiday

Some community pharmacies will be open on Monday 2 May. Please check the NHS England website for pharmacy opening times and other useful information about accessing NHS services over the bank holiday period. Alternatively, you may wish to visit your pharmacy website or call them for more information. Community pharmacy opening hours on the weekends preceding the bank holiday Mondays will be the same as for any normal weekend.


Please order any repeat prescriptions you require in time to ensure you have adequate provision over the bank holidays. You can find out about all the ways you can order your repeat prescriptions. Please do not go to your GP practice or pharmacy to order prescriptions, and only phone them if you cannot order online or by an app. If you need help collecting your prescription, NHS Volunteer Responders may be able to help.

Side effects following a Covid-19 vaccination

A sore arm is the most common side effect of Covid-19 vaccines, but one in four people have symptoms such as fatigue, fever and headache. These symptoms normally last less than a week. If your symptoms seem to get worse or if you are concerned, contact NHS 111 through either their online service or by calling 111. For more information on what to expect following your vaccination, please read the Public Health England advice leaflet, ‘What to expect after COVID-19 vaccination‘. You may also find other PHE leaflets useful. 

Serious, sustained coronavirus symptoms

If you are experiencing coronavirus symptoms, it is important that you do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. NHS 111 has an online coronavirus service that can tell people if they need medical help. Advice on what to do is available at