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Know where to get help and how to help yourself this Christmas and New Year

With Christmas just around the corner GPs from across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent are urging local patients to make sure they’re fully prepared should they become unwell in the holiday season.

Dr Steve Fawcett, a Staffordshire CCG Medical Director said: “All GP practices will be closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. However, if you need urgent care or advice over the festive period the NHS is here to help you.

“For minor illnesses you can see your local pharmacist who can offer you medical advice and over-the-counter remedies. Pharmacists will be happy to assist you there-and-then with a free consultation, with a number across the area open on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.”

If you have an urgent medical concern and you’re not sure what to do you can call NHS 111 or go to: 111.nhs.uk which is available 24 hours a day, including Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. 

GP appointments are available on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day as well as the weekend between the holidays, but not necessarily at your own GP practice. They will have to be pre-booked however by calling your normal GP number while they are still open.

Dr Fawcett added: “I would also encourage people that have repeat prescriptions to ensure that they have enough medication to last through the holiday period but remember not to over order.” 

It’s important to have some over-the-counter remedies items in your medicine cabinet at home to help you deal with minor ailments such as coughs, colds and sore throats:

  • Painkillers like ibuprofen and paracetamol
  • Antihistamines for allergies
  • Indigestion remedies
  • A first aid kit.

A full list of pharmacy opening times is attached. They can also be found on the CCG websites. 

You can also find out more about caring for yourself and your family here