Photo by Noémi Macavei-Kató on Unsplash
With the festive season upon us, the NHS is reminding people that their local pharmacy or GP practice may only be open for a reduced period or closed over the bank holiday period (25 December – 28th December and 1st January to 3rd January). This means it is important that anyone with a long-term condition or needing regular medication is prepared for this by having enough medicines to cover this period. Click here for details of local pharmacy opening times over the holiday season.
Dr Huw Thomas, GP and Clinical Chair for NHS Frimley CCG, said: “If you take regular medication, it is important that you remember to pick up any repeat prescriptions as many GP practices and pharmacies will be closed or have reduced opening hours over the holiday. Forgetting to take medication can have serious health consequences for some patients. Plan ahead this holiday to enjoy a happy and healthy Christmas and New Year.
“If you do become unwell over the holiday period, the NHS is here to help you and you should continue to seek medical treatment when you need it.
“To help you and your family stay well this winter, please make sure you get the Covid-19 vaccination and the booster once your eligible. For more information and details how to book visit: https://www.frimleyhealthandcare.org.uk/living-here/covid-19-vaccination/
“Sometimes it might feel like the only option to go to A&E if you think NHS services are closed during the festive break, but remember to think 111 first.
“You can call NHS 111 or visit https://111.nhs.uk/ 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Your medical need or concern will be assessed by a health professional - ranging from nurses, doctors, pharmacists and paramedics - without you needing to leave your home. Depending on the outcome, you will, if needed, be directed to the most appropriate health service in a timely and safe way. This may include a booked arrival time at the local emergency department if your condition is more serious. Please note that ED will manage patients based on their clinical need during times of significant demand.
“Our NHS staff do an amazing job every day. Let's help them by using their services wisely.”
Frimley Health and Care is also advising that people check their medicine cabinets so that they are prepared for winter should they become ill.
A medicine cabinet should include:
- Paracetamol and aspirin, and equivalent syrups (such as Calpol) for children
- Mild laxatives to relieve constipation
- Re-hydration mixtures for diarrhoea or vomiting
- Indigestion remedy
- Travel sickness tablets
- Tweezers and sharp scissors to remove splinters or cut bandages
- A thermometer to check for fever
- A range of bandages, plasters (various sizes), non-absorbent cotton wool, elastic bandages and dressings
- Antiseptic to clean cuts before they’re dressed (bandaged) and most can treat a range of conditions including insect stings, ulcers and pimpl
Here is what’s open over the festive break
Worried about the health and wellbeing of a child
Unsure if you should stay at home with a sick child or need to see someone?
Visit the NHS Frimley Healthier Together website. Designed by local experts the website provides support to parents and carers to help them manage a range of common childhood illnesses.
Mental health support
We understand it is a difficult time for many. If you are feeling worried about your mental health there are number of services available, visit Mental Wellbeing | Frimley Health and Care.
If you are in a mental health crisis, you call 111 or text Shout to 85258. Shout is a free, confidential, 24/7 text messaging support service for anyone who is struggling to cope.
Pharmacists can offer clinical advice and over-the-counter medicines for a range of minor illnesses, such as coughs, colds, sore throats, tummy trouble and aches and pains. If symptoms suggest it’s more serious, they will ensure you get the help you need.
Most pharmacies have a private consultation room where you can discuss issues with pharmacy staff without being overheard.
For convenient support close to your home – think pharmacy.
Some pharmacies are open on Christmas Day, Boxing Day, and New Year’s Day. Click here for details of local pharmacy opening times over the holiday season.
Think NHS 111
If you need urgent medical help, think 111 first. NHS 111 is available on the phone and online 24/7 at https://111.nhs.uk/ and can direct you to the right service at the right time
The Minor Injuries service at the Bracknell Healthspace, London Road, Bracknell, RG12 9RT, can help with a range of minor injuries such as sprains and strains, broken bones, minor burns and scalds, minor head and eye injuries, bites and stings.
Open every day from 8am to 8pm including Christmas Day, Boxing Day, Bank Holiday Monday and New Year’s Day. X-ray services are available 6 days a week (Sunday to Friday’s, not available on Saturday’s).
GP practices are open between Christmas and New Year, check your usual GP practice website for their opening times.
If you think you need urgent dental treatment, call your regular dentist. If you cannot reach your dentist or you do not have one, use the NHS 111 online service. If you need an appointment, this will be arranged at an urgent dental care centre.
Emergency Department or calling 999
Only for very serious or life threatening situations. This includes:
- loss of consciousness
- a sudden confused state
- fits that are not stopping
- chest pain
- breathing difficulties
- severe bleeding that cannot be stopped
- severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis)
- severe burns or scalds
- major trauma such as a road traffic collision
- feelings of self-harm or suicide
Less severe injuries can be treated at the minor injuries service at Bracknell Healthspace, London Road, Bracknell, RG12 9RT. If you’re unsure remember to think NHS 111.