Although no one wants to get ill over Christmas, it’s really important to know where to go for urgent health advice and treatment, in case you or a loved one does become unwell over the festive period.
Dr Fiona Lemmens, a local GP and Chair of NHS Liverpool CCG explains: “If you need to see a health professional when your usual GP surgery is closed over Christmas, you can still see a local GP through the Out-of-Hours service by calling NHS 111at any time – including over evenings, weekends, and during the bank holidays.
“You can also visit any of the city’s NHS Walk-in Centres for advice and treatment for a wide range of minor illnesses and injuries too. They are open from early until late every day, and you don’t need an appointment either - you can just walk in and be seen.”
“Or alternatively, you can go straight to your nearest high street pharmacy for advice on how to treat a range of common, minor illnesses yourself at home."
This non-emergency health advice line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. You’ll be able to speak to a fully trained adviser, and depending on the situation, the NHS 111 team can connect you to a nurse, emergency dentist or an Out of Hours GP or they can advise you about which health services are open near to you – if you aren’t sure where to go. They can also assess if you need an ambulance and send one immediately if necessary.
There are four walk-in centres in Liverpool – Old Swan NHS Walk-in Centre; Liverpool City Centre Walk-in Centre; Smithdown Children’s NHS Walk-in Centre; and South Liverpool NHS Walk-in Centre (Garston).
All four will be open from 8am - 8pm every day throughout the Christmas period (apart from the City Centre WIC and Smithdown Children’s WIC which will be closed on Christmas Day only). You can get further details about what services they offer & where to find them here.
Pharmacists offer professional health advice on a wide range of common winter ailments and illnesses and the best medicines for treating them, right on your local high street. Many are open early til late – no appointment needed.
You can find further details about which local pharmacies in Liverpool are open during the Christmas bank holidays and their opening times here.
Liverpool University Dental Hospital will be completely closed between Christmas Eve and 30th Dec, with it's walk-in service resuming on 6th January 2020. If you need urgent dental treatment during this time and your normal dentist is closed, please call the NHS Emergency Dental Helpline on 0161 476 9651.
You can also call 999 for an ambulance or attend a hospital A&E at any time if someone is seriously ill or injured, and you think their life may be at risk. But please be aware that A&E departments are very busy, especially at this time of year, and they will always need to prioritise the most serious cases first. If it's not a genuine emergency, the other local services (listed above) will be more appropriate to use.
For further NHS advice on how to stay well over winter, visit: www.nhs.uk/staywell