Health

GP surgery opening times – when will your GP be open over the New Year holiday?


CHRISTMAS might be over, but GPs will still have reduced opening times until after the New Year.

Depending on the practice, most will close for the holidays. Here’s how to get medical help should you fall ill.

 Falling ill over the New Year holiday can be hard, especially with limited access to a doctor

Getty – Contributor

Falling ill over the New Year holiday can be hard, especially with limited access to a doctor

Will the doctor’s surgery be open during the New Year holiday?

Like most public services, GP practices have different opening times over the New Year period.

Some surgeries might even be operating an out-of-hours service, but these can vary from practice to practice.

As New Year’s Day is a bank holiday, surgeries will most likely be closed.

Some GPs may have different opening times, but this will vary.

If you are sick, your surgery will be covered by the local out-of-hours GP service.

There will be a message on the surgery answering machine telling you how you can access this.

Just ring your normal surgery and write down the telephone number.

As always, it is better to check directly with your local GP about their opening hours over the New Year season in case you do need assistance.

Today (December 29), GPs should be opening at normal times.

 Surgeries will be closed on bank holidays across the UK - but there are plenty of other options available

Getty – Contributor

Surgeries will be closed on bank holidays across the UK – but there are plenty of other options available

What are the other options available?

If you require urgent medical advice when your GP practice is closed you can call the NHS on 111.

They are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year by dialling 111 free from any mobile or landline.

NHS 111 will assess you and give you the option to speak to a nurse, doctor or paramedic if appropriate.

You’ll then be advised where you need to go for treatment.

This could be an urgent treatment centre, an out-of-hours GP service, your local GP in normal hours, or the nearest A&E if necessary.

All urgent treatment centres have clear processes in place if it’s decided you need treatment at A&E rather than at the urgent treatment centre.

Many walk-in centres will be open as normal on New Year’s Day.

It is always best to call and check the opening times before you head there.

Walk-in centres are for urgent care if you can’t wait for a GP appointment.

Urgent care centres are for serious but not life-threatening situations.

They can help with illnesses including ear/nose/throat symptoms, minor cuts and bruises, sprains and strains, abdominal pain, insect and animal bites, rashes and urinary tract infections.

If you think life is at risk, you should call 999.

 The NHS has reminded the public that urgent care centres are for serious but not life-threatening situations

Alamy

The NHS has reminded the public that urgent care centres are for serious but not life-threatening situations

When will surgeries go back to normal hours?

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, it will be business as usual from January 2, 2019.

However, as Scotland has an extra bank holiday, normal hours will resume from January 3, 2019.

Is there a service I can access from home?

Push Doctor is an online doctor consultation facility that can be accessed via a smartphone, tablet, PC or laptop.

GPs from Push Doctor can provide prescriptions, fit and sick notes, and referrals just like your local GP can.

Doctors are available 8am-8pm, 7 days a week including New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

The average waiting time for a consultation with Push Doctor is just six minutes, and the consultation is completely private.

If you are prescribed medication, Push Doctor will send your prescription to a local pharmacy within an hour.

Where a fit note or sick note is needed, the GP can send you one by email or first class post after the consultation.

Each appointment is 10 minutes long and costs £30. However, this is reduced to £20 when signed up to a Push Doctor Membership account.

Members can continue into an additional 10 minutes for free, but for non-members this will cost an extra £15.

There is an on-screen warning when your 10 minute appointment is nearing its end so you don’t incur any extra charges unknowingly.

For members, referral letters and fit/sick notes are included in the £3 monthly fee so you’ll only pay the discounted £20 appointment cost.

For non-members, these cost £15 in addition to the £30 appointment cost.

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