Published on: 12 December 2023

Healthcare bosses across Herefordshire and Worcestershire are reminding people that even over the festive period the NHS remains open and available to anyone who needs it.

There will be a change in opening times for some NHS services, including GP practices and pharmacies, with some closures between 24 December and 2 January. Because of this, people are reminded to order their repeat prescriptions early using the NHS App or their GP practice’s website.

Dr Will Taylor Chief Medical Officer NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire said: “It’s important to plan ahead and make sure you’re fully prepared for the Christmas and New Year period.

"There are a number of different things people can do to be ready, for example, collect your repeat prescription in good time, keep a supply of remedies for coughs and colds at home and know which healthcare services are available to you.

“If you need help when your local GP Surgery is not open, you can visit NHS 111 online, which is a free NHS Service and can quickly direct you to the right health service, including out of hours GP appointments. Pharmacists can also help with a range of common conditions and minor injuries.

“Please also ensure that, if you are eligible, you take up the offer of a flu and Covid-19 vaccination. It’s not too late to protect yourself and your loved ones this winter.”

People are reminded also to think NHS 111 first, this means visiting or using the NHS App for any urgent but not life-threatening illnesses or injuries. Trained advisers can direct people to the best possible care including arranging a phone call from a healthcare professional if needed.

Local pharmacists can also give expert, confidential advice as well as medicines for minor ailments such as colds, tummy troubles and much more. Anyone visiting a pharmacy must wear a face covering, unless they are exempt. Individuals should not visit a pharmacy if they, or someone they live with, are experiencing any symptoms of Covid-19. Check your local pharmacy opening times: