Make sure you get the right NHS help over the festive period

If you’re injured or taken ill over the Christmas and New Year period, there are many options available in Waltham Forest, to help you get the care you need, when and where you need it. 

The festive period is one of the busiest times of the year for the NHS. To allow everyone to get the treatment and advice they need, it is important to remember that people should only use A&E when they require emergency treatment.

As well as knowing where to go for treatment, it is also important to make sure you are prepared. If you have a long-term health condition, make sure you are prepared for the upcoming bank holidays by requesting any repeat prescriptions that you might need. It is also helpful to keep your medicine cabinet at home stocked up with supplies in case you need them. 

  • Pharmacy: Many common illnesses such as coughs or colds can be easily treated by visiting your local pharmacy. Your 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 to find a pharmacy near you. There are pharmacies in Waltham Forest that are open on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. Find your nearest pharmacy open over the holidays.

  • NHS 111 - Call the free NHS 111 number to access clinical support and assessment at any time of day or night. The improved 111 service has GPs, nurses, paramedics, and pharmacists giving urgent advice over the phone. If you need to be seen, they will be able to direct you to the best service.

  • Evenings and weekends: Always contact your GP practice first. Evening and weekend appointments are available in Waltham Forest from 8am to 8pm, including Boxing Day and New Year, and from 10am to 2pm on Christmas Day. These appointments must be booked in advance by calling 020 8519 3999 between 12pm and 8pm Monday to Friday, or 8am and 4pm at weekends.

  • Urgent care centre - Whipps Cross urgent care centre can treat most minor injuries, including strains, sprains, and minor burns. It opens 24 hours a day, every day.

  • If you need help with an ongoing issue such as anxiety, feeling low, anger, or relationship issues, contact Waltham Forest Talking Therapies on 0300 300 1554 or visit

  • NHS website: Visit the NHS website to find services near you, A-Z guide and advice how to look after yourself and your loved ones over winter.

Visit for more information on how to help you and your family to stay well this winter.