Festive Logistics: Getting Prepared for Christmas and New Year
The festive season can be incredibly busy. In amongst balancing any combination of work, Christmas parties, school plays, term dates, visiting friends and family and getting all your shopping done, it can be difficult to keep tabs on which day is which.
This year, all the Bank Holidays fall at the beginning of the week, so there will be a four-day period around Christmas when Brunton Park Health Centre will be closed and then three days over New Year.
To help you prepare, we wanted to let you know what dates we would be open and closed, how else to get prepared and where to go for help if you need it this festive season.
Brunton Park Health Centre will keep our regular opening hours and be closed on weekends and Bank Holidays.
With the Bank Holidays immediately following weekends, we will be closed from the evening of Friday, 22nd December, until the morning of Wednesday, 27th December.
We will then close for the year at the end of the day on Friday, 29th December, opening to welcome you to 2024 on the morning of Tuesday, 2nd January.
Our Network Same Day Access service will mirror our opening times. Enhanced Access appointments will continue on Saturdays but not on the Bank Holidays.
Reorder your prescriptions early with the NHS App
If you have regularly prescribed medication that needs to be reordered, please do so as soon as possible.
The quickest and easiest way to reorder your prescription is through the NHS App. You can do it in 7 taps of the screen on your smartphone. Here’s our step-by-step guide:
- Open the NHS App and make sure you are logged in.
- Tap ‘Prescriptions ‘in the centre of the bottom menu.
- Tap the green button ‘Order a prescription’. You can also view your previous orders from this screen.
- Select ‘A repeat prescription’.
- All medication available to be ordered will show on the next screen. Choose the one you want to order by tapping the left-hand box to add a tick.
- Next, scroll down the page and add an additional message if you need to, then tap the green ‘Continue’ button.
- Double-check the details and tap the green ‘Confirm and order prescriptions’ button to submit your request.
The service is available 24/7, and you can choose a local pharmacy to collect your medication.
A minimum of 2-3 working days is needed from us receiving a request to it being ready to collect, but with bank holidays and how busy practices can be leading up to Christmas, we would encourage you to allow more time.
Local Pharmacy opening times
As well as making sure your local Pharmacy is open for you to collect your medication, remember that Pharmacists can help with a wide range of common illnesses and ailments.
To find day-by-day opening times for pharmacies nearest to you, use the NHS Find a Pharmacy service.
By entering your postcode, you will see a list of the Pharmacies, starting with the nearest to you and when they are open that day.
Clicking on an individual Pharmacy will give you contact details, directions, and their standard and bank holiday opening times.
You can also choose to filter your search results only to show Pharmacies that are open right now.
Getting help while we are closed
Your first port of call for medical help when the practice is not open should be NHS 111.
By visiting 111.NHS.uk or calling 111, you can:
- Get help and advice 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
- Check your symptoms and get advice on conditions and medication.
- Find self-help resources and links.
- Find out what services are available near you.
- Be connected to a nurse, emergency dentist, pharmacist, or GP.
- Get a face-to-face appointment if you need one.
- You should only ever call 999 or go to Accident and Emergency if it is a life-threatening situation.
If you have children, then download the Healthier Together app. Locally produced and full of expert advice from trusted NHS sources, Healthier Together is designed to give useful information, guidance and reassurance to parents.
The Ponteland Road Urgent Treatment Centre in Cowgate can treat patients for cuts, sprains and strains. They can assess and treat:
- Minor burns
- Infected wounds
- Possible broken bones
No appointment is needed; you can turn up and wait to be treated. It is open from 8 am to 10 pm every day of the year, including Bank Holidays.
Local community Pharmacists are also available to offer you advice and treatment for a series of minor ailments such as migraines, teething, allergies, and fevers.
There is also the UTI service, where participating pharmacies can treat uncomplicated urinary tract infections without needing to see a GP first. Find the nearest Pharmacy offering the UTI service here.
Over the next week, we will be sharing some general tips for staying healthy this winter, as well as some ideas and resources from our Primary Care Network team about how to look after yourselves and others over Christmas and New Year.
A happy and safe festive season
On behalf of all the staff at Brunton Park Health Centre, we would like to thank you all for your support and patience through another challenging year in primary care and wish you all a happy and safe festive season.