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Where to get health advice over the festive season

No one wants to get ill over Christmas, but it’s important to know where to get health advice and treatment, just in case residents become unwell.

The local NHS has published details of which services will be available over the festive season. Visit Essex Do Your Bit for more information.

From GP practices offering appointments on Christmas Eve, to details of which pharmacists will be open on Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day, and the Bank Holidays, residents are urged to find out where they can get health advice and treatment for a variety of minor illnesses and conditions.

If urgent help is required, residents can visit NHS 111 or call 111 where they will be directed to the service that best meets their needs. This service is available 24/7.

It is important that everyone looks after their mental health at this time of year, so if things are feeling a bit too much or residents are feeling overwhelmed, anxious and stressed, support is now available for over 18s 24/7 by calling 111 and selecting option 2. Under 18s can call 0800 995 1000.

Residents are also reminded that if they take regular medication, it’s important to make sure they have enough to see them through the festive period. It is important to order your repeat prescriptions as soon as possible to allow enough time for the pharmacy to assess, make sure they have the right medicines in stock and safely dispense.

Remember to collect your medicines before your pharmacy closes for the holidays.

To get a repeat prescription:

  • Use the NHS app or your GP practice’s online form to make a request or use the repeat medication slip from your last prescription and place it in the prescription collection box at reception of your GP practice.

  • If you are unable to do that, then contact your GP practice directly during their opening times to discuss how to access your repeat prescription.

  • If you are on regular medication, ask your GP practice about electronic repeat dispensing. The GP will authorise a batch of prescriptions for a fixed period of time you can go directly to your nominated pharmacy for your repeat until the batch ends. The pharmacy will let you know when you are on your last prescription and ask you to make an appointment with the surgery to renew the batch

  • If you or someone you care for does run out of their regular medicine it is important to speak to 111 or your usual pharmacist to discuss options which will depend on individual circumstances

Find out more information using our guide to health services this festive season by visiting Essex Do Your Bit.


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