Knowing the right place for medical help over the Christmas holidays can help you get the treatment you need faster.
This includes making sure your medicine cabinet contains the basic items required to help you deal with any minor health issues at home and calling the free NHS 111 number for urgent care needs.
At NHS 111, help is at hand from a team of highly trained experts and, if needed, an appointment can be booked at an urgent treatment centre or even an A&E department.
Dr Navin Kumta, Clinical Chair for NHS Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “There are a few simple things people can do now to have an enjoyable, healthy Christmas.
“This includes checking if you need a repeat prescription and that you have what you need in the medicine cabinet at home.
“If you, or someone you care for, requires medicine regularly, it’s important to make sure you order and collect repeat prescriptions in good time to ensure you and your family have enough medicine to last over the festive period.
“And if you need urgent help, NHS 111 is there for you 24 hours a day throughout the period.”
This year it is vital that everyone across Kent does everything they can to help slow the spread of coronavirus by washing their hands frequently, wearing a face covering, and following social distancing guidelines. Further details are on the gov.uk website.
Patients should not attend a GP practice, pharmacy or other service if they have any of the symptoms of coronavirus – high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to their sense of smell or taste. Instead, they should stay at home and book a test.
Medical care this Christmas
Keeping your medicine cabinet well stocked with basic items such as painkillers, anti-diarrhoea tablets and indigestion treatment will help you deal with minor health issues at home. For advice on what to keep in your medicine cabinet visit the NHS website.
Pharmacists are experts in medicines and can help you with minor health concerns. They can offer advice and over-the-counter medicines for a range of minor illnesses. A number of pharmacies will be open on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. View their opening hours on the NHS England website.
NHS 111 is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, offering patients support on a wide range of conditions, covering both illnesses and injuries.
Patients can either call 111 or go online.
Help is at hand from a team of highly trained experts and, if needed, an appointment can be booked at an urgent treatment centre or even an A&E department.
NHS 111 is also available via a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter. For more information, visit www.interpreternow.co.uk/nhs111.
If you feel you need to see a GP over the festive period, please ring your practice and speak to them. GP practices will be closed on Friday 25 December for four days and re-open on Tuesday 29 December. They will also be closed on New Year’s Day. If need help during this time, please call NHS 111.
UTCs are equipped to diagnose and deal with many of the most common ailments people attend emergency departments for, including sprains, minor burns and minor illness and are open throughout the Christmas period.
Appointments can be booked at an urgent treatment centre by calling NHS111 or going online 111.nhs.uk. Patients are also able to “walk in” without an appointment but may have to wait longer to be seen depending on their condition.
|UTC location||Opening hours|
|William Harvey Hospital, Ashford||24 hours|
|Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital, Margate||24 hours|
|Kent and Canterbury Hospital, Canterbury||24 hours|
|Royal Victoria Hospital, Folkestone||8am - 8pm|
|Buckland Hospital, Dover||8am - 8pm|
|Victoria Memorial Hospital, Deal||8am - 8pm|
|Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital, Herne Bay||8am - 8pm|
|Faversham Medical Practice, Faversham||8am - 8pm|
|Estuary View Medical Centre, Whitstable||8am - 8pm|
|Sevenoaks Hospital||8am - 8pm|
|Tunbridge Wells Hospital at Pembury||8am - 8pm|
|Maidstone Hospital||8am - 8pm|
|Medway Maritime||24 hours|
If you are concerned about the mental health of a child or young person in Kent and Medway and are not sure what extra help is needed, you can call the Single Point of Access (SPA) on 0800 0011 3474. This service is there to help find the most appropriate response to your concerns.
For residents of Kent and Medway, call the 24 hour helpline on 0800 783 9111 if you need urgent mental health support, advice and guidance
If you're feeling under pressure call 0800 107 0160 to get free advice from expert therapists and counsellors or use the Release the Pressure text service that provide 24-hour mental health crisis support, text “Kent” or “Medway” (depending on where you live) to 85258.
You can refer yourself to a talking therapy service without seeing your GP. Talking therapies can help with anxiety, depression, stress, trauma, phobias and other related problems. All services are operating remotely via phone and online. You can search the NHS website for psychological therapy services close to you.
For more advice to help you and your family stay well this winter, visit www.nhs.uk/staywell.