Know where to go for healthcare this Christmas

The local NHS is reminding people not to forget about their health during their Christmas preparations.

Although no one likes the thought of getting ill over Christmas, it’s really important to know what to do if you or a loved one needs urgent health advice and treatment during the festive period – as well as how to avoid becoming unwell in the first place.

If you take any medicine on a regular basis to help manage a long-term condition such as high blood pressure, diabetes or asthma – now is the time to check that you have enough medication left to last you throughout Christmas and New Year. Don’t risk being caught short over the bank holidays, when your GP practice will be closed.

People should aim to order any repeat prescriptions at least one working week before Christmas Eve, to give your GP practice and pharmacy enough time to authorise, order and dispense the medication.

The best way to prepare is to get the flu vaccine and COVID-19 booster if you are eligible. If you are over 50, have certain health conditions, or are pregnant, you can book your free NHS vaccinations now at:

It’s also a good idea to make sure that your medicine cabinet is well-stocked to last you through the bank holiday period. It costs less than £10 to stock up on everyday over-the-counter medicines such as ibuprofen, paracetamol, junior paracetamol, aspirin, sore throat lozenges, diarrhoea relief, constipation relief, antacid and antihistamines. All of these can be found at your local pharmacy or supermarket.

If you or a loved one does become unwell over the festive period and is in need of urgent health advice or treatment – particularly over the bank holidays when GP practices will be closed – contact NHS 111 by dialling 111 or  visit

NHS 111 can help direct you to the most appropriate local health service if you aren’t sure what to do, and can also book you a same-day appointment with an out of hours GP, at a local NHS walk-in centre, or at a hospital emergency department (A&E) if required.

GP practices will be open until 23 December, but will be closed over the Christmas weekend and bank holidays from 24 to 27 December, and again over the New Year period from 31 December to 2 January. They will be open as normal on 28, 29, 30 December.

Local NHS walk-in centres will continue to be open daily over the holidays, including on Christmas Day. More details and opening times for each site can be found here.

Some community pharmacies will also be open in your area during the Christmas period, although opening times may be different to normal so please check in advance – click here to find a pharmacy near you.

Although Christmas is a period which brings families and friends together, it can often be a lonely or difficult time for some people. If you or someone you know needs urgent mental health support, you can access a free 24/7 helpline and other mental health services here.

Further practical support is also available through GP practices for those who are struggling this winter – ask a member of your health team to refer you to a social prescribing link worker.

You can also find out lots more about local support services available in Liverpool for anyone who is feeling flat, down, or overwhelmed through the Kind To Your Mind campaign.

For more advice on staying well this winter, visit:

Content provided by One Liverpool, a partnership of local health and care organisations working together to support a healthier, happier and fairer Liverpool for all.

Published on Mon, 12 Dec 2022 10:52:57 GMT
Modified on Mon, 12 Dec 2022 11:25:11 GMT