As we all prepare for Christmas, health leaders at NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are reassuring residents that the NHS is still there for you over the festive period.
Dr Craig Gillespie, chair of NHS South Sefton CCG, said: “Even though GP and pharmacy opening times may vary over Christmas and the new year, NHS services and support is still available for people that need it.
“A lot of common illnesses and minor injuries can be treated at home with basic medicines available at your local pharmacy or supermarket. It is a good idea to stock up your medicine cabinet with things like indigestion medicine and painkillers, such as ibuprofen and paracetamol in case you need them over the Christmas period. These supplies will help you to self-care and get well from the safety of your own home.
“If you are not feeling well the NHS.uk website is a great resource for advice and has a complete guide to conditions, symptoms and treatments, including what to do and when to get help. Some pharmacies in the area will also be open and are a great source of expert healthcare advice and over-the-counter medicines.
“As the restrictions change and some families form Christmas bubbles of up to three households between 23 and 27 December, it is important that we don’t undo all of our hard work and we continue to follow rules and wash hands, cover our face and make space to limit the spread of the virus and protect loved ones, particularly the most vulnerable in our community.
“It is fantastic news that the Covid-19 vaccination programme has now begun. We are currently offering the vaccine to people most at risk from Coronavirus, the vaccine will be offered more widely as soon as possible. Please do not contact the NHS to seek a vaccine, we will contact you.”
Gene Quinn, Head of Service – Cheshire and Merseyside for North West Ambulance Service, said: “If you are not sure what to do and need medical advice fast, go to NHS 111 online or call NHS 111. You will be assessed, given advice, and directed straightaway to the local service that can best meet your needs, including a GP if you need one. If you are in a life-threatening situation or emergency such as choking, chest pain, or having severe difficulty in breathing, call 999 straight away.”
If you do have any Coronavirus symptoms – such as a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a change or loss to your taste or smell please do self-isolate and book test as soon as possible. You can book a test online or by calling 119.
Your local health services: To find your local health services and to check pharmacy opening times in South Sefton, visit the NHS South Sefton CCG website