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Choose Well This Christmas

People living in Cheshire, North Staffordshire and the surrounding areas are being encouraged to make themselves aware of the healthcare options available to them over the upcoming festive period.

With the Christmas and New Year bank holidays just around the corner, it is important that people know where they can turn to in order to get advice or treatment when their GP practice is closed.

If you’re not sure which NHS service you need, you can call 111 at any time to get free, confidential advice.  An adviser will ask you questions to assess your symptoms and then provide the advice you need or direct you to the best service for you in your area.

Pharmacists are experts in many aspects of healthcare and can offer advice on a wide range of long-term conditions and common illnesses (such as coughs, colds and stomach upsets).  You don’t need an appointment and many have private consultation areas, so they are a great first option.  Your pharmacist will say if you need further medical attention.

If you have a minor injury or illness (such as an infection, vomiting and stomach aches), and it can’t wait until your GP surgery is open, then you should attend your local walk-in centre, minor injuries unit or urgent care centre.  You don’t need an appointment and waiting times are often much less than Accident and Emergency departments. 

The Minor Injuries Unit based at the Victoria Infirmary in Northwich can cater for patients with minor injuries and is open every day over the festive period:

  • Thursday, December 24, 2015 – 9am-6pm
  • Friday, December 25, 2015 – 9am-6pm
  • Saturday, December 26, 2015 – 9am-6pm
  • Sunday, December 27, 2015 – 9am-10pm
  • Monday, December 28, 2015 – 9am-10pm
  • Tuesday, December 29, 2015 – 9am-10pm
  • Wednesday, December 30, 2015 – 9am-10pm
  • Thursday, December 31, 2015 – 9am-6pm
  • Friday, January 1, 2016 – 9am-6pm
  • Saturday, January 2, 2016 – 9am-10pm
  • Sunday, January 3, 2016 – 9am-10pm.


Accident and Emergency departments, along with the 999 service, provide vital care for life-threatening emergencies (such as loss of consciousness, suspected heart attacks, breathing difficulties and severe bleeding that can’t be stopped).  If you’re not sure if it’s an emergency, call 111 for advice.

To find information on your local healthcare services, including opening times, please visit www.nhs.uk/staywell (external website, link opens in new window).

The local Clinical Commissioning Groups have released information regarding the opening hours of local GP practices and Pharmacies, and these can be viewed in the documents below: