With Christmas just around the corner, health experts in Sefton are urging local patients to make sure they’re fully prepared should they become unwell in the holiday season.
NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG want to make sure residents know the steps they can take and which services to use should they become unwell.
Dr Craig Gillespie, chair of NHS South Sefton CCG, says: “All GP practices in Sefton will be closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. However, if you need urgent care or advice over the festive period, the NHS is here to help you.
“For minor illnesses, you can see your local pharmacist who can offer you medical advice and over-the-counter remedies. Pharmacists will be happy to assist you there and then, with a free consultation.”
Some pharmacies in Sefton are open on the bank holidays and walk-in centres continue to operate too. You can find out which pharmacies closest to you will be open, along with walk-in centre times by visiting the CCGs’ websites.
If you have an urgent medical concern and you’re not sure what to do you can call NHS 111 or go to: 111.nhs.uk. It’s available 24 hours a day, including Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day and they can arrange for you to see a doctor out of hours when your practice is closed.
Dr Rob Caudwell, chair of NHS Southport and Formby CCG, adds: “As well as NHS 111, there are other services available over the holidays, including extra GP appointments you can book on weekday evenings and at weekends.”
Patients in Sefton have access to a range of non-urgent, routine, pre-bookable, appointments with GPs, practice nurses and medical specialists of an evening and at weekends. Your GP practice can offer more information about this service.
Rob added: “I would also encourage people that have repeat prescriptions to ensure that they have enough medication to last through the holiday period but remember not to over order.”
The following items are recommended to be in your medicine cabinet at home to help deal with minor ailments such as coughs, colds and sore throats:
- Painkillers such as ibuprofen and paracetamol
- Antihistamines for allergies
- Indigestion remedies
- A first aid kit
For more information on what you can do to stay well this winter and pharmacy opening times, visit: www.southseftonccg.nhs.uk/your-health-and-services or www.southportandformbyccg.nhs.uk/your-health-and-services