The NHS in Gloucestershire is urging people to keep well over the Christmas and New Year period by taking some simple steps that could help avoid a few festive perils.

The NHS has also confirmed that plans are in place so that patients can access pharmacy and GP surgery services this year during the Christmas and New Year period.

Advice on being prepared:

  • Be prepared – make sure you get any prescriptions and medicines you might need before the holiday season starts
  • Don’t forget to order your regular prescriptions in advance and make sure you collect enough medication to last throughout the festive period
  • Remember to take your prescribed medication with you if you are visiting family or friends
  • If you need an urgent prescription because you have run out of your normal prescribed medicines, most community pharmacies can help
  • Keep a well-stocked medicine cabinet at home, with medicines such as paracetamol which can treat a number of everyday illnesses
  • Take early action – seek advice from your local pharmacy if you have a long term health condition and are starting to feel unwell before it gets more serious. Further advice can be found at:

If you do find yourself ill, injured or unwell, and are not sure where to seek help, here are a few useful pointers:

  • This ASAP website provides information about lots of health conditions, looking after yourself and where to find the right help. You can also download the ASAP Glos NHS App free from your App store or pop into your local Pharmacy (see Christmas & New Year pharmacy opening times here)
  • From 22 December to 7 January (including Christmas Day), urgent GP appointments are available from 8am – 8pm at your GP surgery or another surgery. Contact your surgery for more information
  • If you need urgent medical care when your GP surgery is closed, call NHS 111 and they will make sure you receive the advice and care you need from doctors and nurses working in the Gloucestershire Out of Hours service. This could include advice over the phone, a visit to a local primary care centre or a home visit
  • Use Emergency Services wisely – call 999 only when it’s a serious injury or a life threatening situation such as unconsciousness, heavy loss of blood, severe chest pain or stroke

Deputy Chair of NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group and local GP, Dr Hein Le Roux, advises:

“The key thing to remember before the Christmas and New Year break is to plan in advance and ensure you and your family are well prepared for all eventualities.

The simple steps outlined above should help ensure you get the holiday period off to a good start and know where to look for advice should the need arise.

GP appointments are available in your area during the evenings and at the weekend over the festive period and can be booked by contacting your surgery. Please remember that these are for people who have an urgent need.”