How to get the NHS help you need in the South West this Christmas

Minor injury units and urgent treatment centres for less serious accidents will be open as usual. Credit: PA

People across the South West are being urged to choose the best option for healthcare whilst GP surgeries are closed this Christmas.

Whilst some GP practices will have appointments as usual on Saturday 24 December they will all be closed from 25 to 27 December.

They will re-open on the morning of Wednesday 28 December.

People who need medical help during this time should think before dialling 999, which should only be done in life-threatening injury or illness.

Minor injury units and urgent treatment centres will remain open for people suffering from a less-serious accident or illness.

For those that find themselves needing advice on the best course of action, the NHS 111 service will still be available online or via phone to book appointments including urgent dental treatment.

Some community pharmacists, who can provide urgent advice and medication for winter ailments will be open and do not need an appointment. The list of pharmacies open during the holiday period can be found here.

NHS England’s Medical Director for the South West, Dr Michael Marsh, said: “The NHS continues to face great pressure, especially with rising rates of flu, Covid and other infections, so please make sure you make the right choice if you need urgent care over Christmas.

“Most illnesses can be safely treated at home, or with advice from your local pharmacy, but there’s a wide range of options if you need further help.

“And if you’re unsure where to go, NHS 111 is there to help, whether online or on the phone.

“You can also help ease pressure by making sure your relatives can get home as quickly as possible if they’re in hospital and staff say they’re ready to go.”

Lead prescribing pharmacist at Bedminster pharmacy Ade Williams said: “Don’t forget to collect your prescriptions and stock up on emergency medicines from your pharmacy before they close for Christmas.

“However, some pharmacies will be open over the holiday period, so please check the NHS England South West website to find a local pharmacy that can provide urgent help and advice over the holiday period.”