Know where to go for NHS help in Waltham Forest this Christmas

Know where to go for NHS help in Waltham Forest this Christmas

People in Waltham Forest are being encouraged to ‘know where to go’ for healthcare if they are ill or injured over Christmas and New Year. 

The festive period is one of the busiest times of the year for GP practices and hospitals, and knowing the right place to go at the right time can help everyone receive the care and treatment they need. 

This includes visiting pharmacies for help treating coughs, colds and other minor ailments, and calling the free NHS 111 number for urgent advice. You should also ensure your medicine cabinet contains the basic items required to help you deal with any minor health issues at home. 

Those with long-term health conditions can prepare for the upcoming bank holidays by requesting repeat prescriptions well in advance. 

Dr Anwar Khan, a local GP and chair of NHS Waltham Forest Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “Being well prepared is essential at this time of year. This includes making sure you know where to go for NHS care as there are a number of options locally.   

“Choosing the right service ensures that you receive treatment you need in the right place at the right time – allowing our urgent care teams to focus on those who really need them. 

“As well as being a valuable source of advice and offering over-the-counter medicines, in an emergency a pharmacist may be able to supply some of your repeat medication. Ordering your repeat prescriptions well in advance will ensure you are well prepared for the four-day Christmas holiday weekend.” 

Dr Khan added: “We know that nobody would choose to see a GP over the holiday period, but if you do feel unwell, and it is not an emergency, or cannot be resolved by a visit to the pharmacist, we would encourage you to take advantage of the weekend/bank holiday opening hours by booking to see a GP at one of the three hubs.” 

Over the festive period, people in Waltham Forest have a number of healthcare options: 

  • Pharmacy: Many common illnesses such as coughs or colds can be best and most easily treated by visiting your local pharmacy. A pharmacist can offer advice on how to best look after yourself at home with rest and over-the-counter treatments. You don’t need an appointment, and many pharmacists have private consultation areas.Visit the NHS Choices website (www.nhs.uk) to find a pharmacy near you. Several pharmacies in Waltham Forest are open on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. To find your nearest pharmacy open over the holidays, please visit http://www.walthamforestccg.nhs.uk/news-items/pharmacies-open-this-christmas-and-new-year/59564 
  • Not sure where to go? Call the free NHS 111 number – a trained advisor will offer you advice over the phone. If you need to be seen, they will be able to direct you to the service most appropriate for you. This service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is also available via a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter. For more information, visit www.interpreternow.co.uk/nhs111.
  • GP appointments: If you feel you need to see a GP over the festive period, please ring your GP to make an appointment. If your GP practice is closed, you can book GP appointments in Waltham Forest by calling 020 8519 3999 and – when this booking line is closed – by calling the NHS 111 number. The NHS 111 number is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and advice can be given on the most appropriate health care service which includes access to GP appointments.
  • Self care: 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: https://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Pharmacy/Pages/Yourmedicinecabinet.aspx

For more advice to help you and your family stay well this winter, visit www.nhs.uk/staywell