With the festive season fast approaching, we want to help make sure you know about the Southampton health services and the range of support here to help you over the Christmas and new year bank holidays.
If you need to see a GP or nurse over the Christmas period, appointments are available from 8am - 9pm every day of the week, including weekends and bank holidays. These appointments will either be at your GP practice or at one of the hubs around Southampton. You can book an appointment through your GP practice when they are open or by phoning 111 when your GP practice is closed.
If you’ve been gifted with a seasonal cough, cold or sore throat, pharmacists are also experts on minor illnesses and injuries and are a great first point of call. A pharmacist can also let you know about the medicines to keep at home and advice on many common illnesses and injuries is also available at www.nhs.uk/staywell. Many pharmacies in the city are open in the evenings and on weekends and have private consultation rooms. Please note, pharmacies will have amended opening hours over the bank holidays. Details of pharmacies open over the Christmas and New Year bank holidays are on the NHS England website at www.england.nhs.uk/south-east/our-work/pharmacy-opening-hours.
If you do become unwell and aren’t sure where to go over Christmas and New Year, you can now contact NHS 111 online at 111.nhs.uk or by phoning 111. The 111 service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Phoning 111 is free and the team can find the right local service for you. They can help you with an out of hours GP appointment, emergency dentist, mental health support, let you know about a local pharmacy open near you, details of the Urgent Treatment Centre or even send an emergency ambulance if necessary. The team at 111 is made up of fully trained call handlers, supported by a range of experienced clinicians including GPs, nurses (including mental health nurses) and paramedics.
The Southampton Urgent Treatment Centre at the Royal South Hants Hospital is also open every day to help the whole family with injuries and illnesses that need urgent advice or treatment but aren’t life threatening. You don’t need an appointment, just visit during the opening hours (weekends and bank holidays: 8.00am – 10.00pm and Monday – Friday: 7.30am – 10.00pm - last patient accepted at 9.30pm each day).
It is also important to look after your wellbeing over the holidays, as we know this can be a difficult time for some. If you need support over the festive season, the NHS 111 service now has specially trained mental health nurses who can listen and find the right support for you. If you are under the care of a mental health team and have a specific care plan that states who to contact when you need urgent care, you should follow this plan. The Samaritans are also there to listen 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You can call free on 116 123 and find out more about the support the Samaritans can provide at www.samaritans.org. The Mind website has lots of ideas on looking after your mental health at Christmas and Time to Change have some great tips on how to support others over Christmas. Find out more about mental health services in the city and more information on what to do in a mental health crisis or emergency.