HEALTH AND CARE: Where to get care over the festive break

Accessing the right service for your needs at the right time can help to ease this pressure and help the NHS
Accessing the right service for your needs at the right time can help to ease this pressure and help the NHS

Doctors and nurses will be working extra hard over the festive period to make sure that everyone can get the care they need.

GP practices will be open as normal this week and from Wednesday of next week, providing help and support, and bookable appointments with doctors and nurses.

GP practices that usually open earlier or later on certain days will also be providing these additional clinics for their patients across the festive period, so please check their websites for details.

In addition, doctors and practice teams are also working to make additional bookable appointments available until 8pm on weekdays and during the day on Saturdays and Sundays in specific places across Coastal West Sussex to help patients to receive the care they need over the festive period.

On the Bank Holidays – Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day – there will be additional appointments available.

If you need urgent help or advice when your practice is closed, please call NHS 111 who will be able to provide help and advice, and if needed, will be able to book you in to see or speak to a local doctor or nurse.

Making sure that appointments are available in this way will not only improve access to GP services over the festive period, but will also help manage pressures on urgent and emergency care by making sure people can be seen by the most appropriate health professional.

Winter is expected to be extremely difficult for the NHS across the country, especially on A&E departments and GP surgeries as they cope with increasing numbers of people seeking treatment.

Accessing the right service for your needs at the right time can help to ease this pressure and help the local NHS.

Another way we can all help local health services is by making sure we have enough of the routine medicines we need over Christmas and New Year.

When GP practices are closed, we want to avoid people having to call NHS 111 for routine medication.

Doctors are calling for people to think about what medicines you need and make sure you have enough at home.

And if you don’t, or you are running low, think ahead and contact your GP practice or pharmacy this week to order more.

If you do need medical help over the next two weeks, a website at www.sussexhelpmy.nhs.uk highlights the all the available NHS services, and has searchable listings on the most appropriate services available across Sussex this winter to treat a range of illness and injuries.