The NHS in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland (LLR) is urging people to use NHS services wisely over the Christmas and New Year period and to ‘Get in the Know’ about which service they should access, depending on their needs.
‘Get in the Know’ is an ongoing campaign which aims to support people across LLR to get the right care as quickly as possible. The campaign website www.getintheknow.co.uk has a dedicated page that explains how to use NHS services over the festive period and provides lots of other useful information for both physical and mental health needs.
The local NHS is also asking people to plan ahead if they take prescribed medication regularly, by making sure they have enough to last until the New Year.
GP practices across LLR will be closed between Saturday 24 and Tuesday 27 December. They will reopen on Wednesday 28 December until Friday 30 December. They will then close again between Saturday 31 December and Monday 2 January, with normal service resuming from Tuesday 3 January.
Dr Nil Sanganee, Chief Medical Officer for the Leicester, Leicestershire, and Rutland Integrated Care Board, said: “As we all know, the health service is under immense pressure this winter and Bank Holidays are always especially busy, with many calls to 111 being requests for regular medication, which could have been ordered earlier. Last minute requests put a strain on services and you risk not being able to get hold of your medication when you need it, so please do plan ahead. Contact your GP practice now if you need a repeat prescription, or you can also make the request online or use the NHS App.
“If you have an urgent care need over the Christmas or New Year bank holidays, please don’t wait before seeking help. Although GP practices will be closed, you can contact NHS 111 online or by phone at any time, day or night. They will review your symptoms and will refer you to the most appropriate service based on your needs. There is also a phoneline, the Mental Health Central Access Point, for people who need urgent mental health support.
“If you are generally in good health, viruses such as coughs, colds, and sore throats are all treatable yourself with advice from your local pharmacy, NHS 111 online or the NHS App.
“Local community pharmacists are qualified health professionals and can give advice on a range of health problems. If they think you need to see a doctor or other health professional, they can advise you on how to access further support.”
Bank holiday opening times for pharmacists in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland are available at: https://www.england.nhs.uk/midlands/nhs-england-and-nhs-improvement-midlands-work/bank-holiday-pharmacy-opening-times/.
The Mental Health Central Access Point can be reached on 0808 800 3302. This will be open as normal over Christmas and New Year, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
In addition to the Mental Health Central Access Point, support is also available for your mental health and wellbeing through the NHS Crisis Cafes. To find out what is open and when, please visit: https://bit.ly/3FMLIxL
The 999 service should only be used for an urgent, life threatening, medical situation, where emergency assistance is required.