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Public Encouraged To ‘Know What To Do’ This Christmas

20 December 2018

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 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 or vomiting and stomach aches), and it can’t wait until your GP surgery is open, then you should attend your local minor injuries unit or urgent treatment centre. You don’t need an appointment and waiting times are often much less than Accident and Emergency departments. 

Similar to previous years, the Minor Injuries Unit based at the Victoria Infirmary in Northwich is open 9am – 10pm throughout the festive period with the exception of the following dates: 


  • Christmas Day (Tuesday 25 December) – closed
  • Boxing Day (Wednesday 26 December) - closed
  • New Year’s Day (Tuesday 1 January) - closed


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. 

Pharmacy opening hours

A number of local pharmacies are open across South Cheshire and Vale Royal on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day. These can be viewed by following the links below.

Vale Royal 

South Cheshire 

GP extended hours appointments

South Cheshire and Vale Royal GPs are now offering extended hours appointments at selected practices, which will be known as ‘GP Hubs’.

These appointments are available to any registered patients from any practice within the boundaries of South Cheshire and Vale Royal.

Please ask your practice receptionist who can book you an appointment or visit www.gpopenforyou.co.uk for further information.