Health leaders in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire are urging local people to ‘know what to do’ if they need urgent healthcare support over the Christmas period.
Winter is a busy time for many NHS services, but the festive period often sees a further increase in people attending busy A&E departments. Many people who attend A&E could be treated more quickly and appropriately at one of the many NHS urgent care services which remain open throughout Christmas and New Year.
These include local minor injuries units in Bristol, Clevedon and Yate, which will continue to provide walk-in treatment for minor injuries like sprains and strains including on evenings and weekends.
More GP appointments are also being made available to patients on evenings and weekends and the GP out-of-hours service will continue to operate during the hours that practices are closed.
Emergency pharmacists are also open over the Christmas bank holidays. As well as dispensing emergency prescriptions, pharmacists can support you with health advice and offer medicines for a wide range of common health problems.
For people who think they need urgent medical advice, the NHS111 service is available by phone or online 24 hours a day and is free to use at any time.
Dr Lesley Ward, Local GP and Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire CCG’s clinical lead for unplanned care, said:
“I hope that everyone enjoys a happy and healthy Christmas break, without the need for any urgent or emergency care services. If you do need healthcare urgently please remember that there’s a wide range of services available to you throughout the festive period.
“By using the right service for your needs you’ll be helping us to help you, while also making sure that our busy A&E departments can focus on those who need them most.
“If you have an urgent medical problem but you’re not sure what to do, remember NHS111 can help. Depending on the situation you’ll be advised on the best service for your needs or connected with a medical professional.”