GP services available over the New Year period

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Residents are being reminded that pharmacies and GP services are available over the New Year period.

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is reminding residents that access to pharmacies and GPs is available every day over the festive period and bank holidays.

Although some GP practices are closed, the local NHS has been working hard to ensure people will still be able to access a GP appointment or pharmacist should they need one.

Residents can call the free NHS 111 number, which is available 24/7, to find out where to go and book a slot.

Alternatively, GP appointments are available 9am to 1pm at Battle Hill Health Centre, Priory Medical Centre in North Shields and Wideopen Medical Centre with walk-in appointments available until noon on Saturday, December 31, Sunday, January 1, and Monday, January 2.

People can also visit www.urgentoremergency.co.uk

The urgent care centre at North Tyneside General Hospital is open 8am to midnight every day.

Dr Chris Biggin, clinical director of emergency care at the trust, said: “It’s great news that this year, for the first time, GP appointments are available every day over the festive holidays.”

“Most health issues the majority of people will experience at this time of year can be dealt with by looking after themselves well at home or seeing their pharmacist or GP.

“If people need to see a GP urgently, they should simply ring the free NHS 111 number, which is available 24/7, to find out where to go and which GP services are open.

“This is a really busy time for the NHS, and particularly The Northumbria hospital, and we would urge people to heed this advice and make use of the services available in order to keep emergency care free for those who need it most.”

Jonathan Slade, medical director for NHS England Cumbria and the North East, said: “The main message we want to get across is that a number of GPs and pharmacists across the region are open for business over the Christmas and New Year holidays.

“We’d like to reassure people that if they call 111, they will be allocated an appointment should they need one. This is a particularly important message for older people, people with long-term health conditions and parents.

“Pharmacists can provide instant, confidential advice and treatment for minor illnesses, without the need to make an appointment.

“Our A&E departments get extremely busy during this time and we want to ensure that patients who really need emergency care receive the quickest possible treatment they need, and that people who can be cared for elsewhere are not waiting in accident and emergency departments.”