If you need an urgent GP appointment over Christmas or New Year, help is at hand from your local NHS.
Increased access to GP services is now available across the Portsmouth and south east Hampshire areas to improve patient access to healthcare.
This includes extended opening hours in evenings and at weekends in a number of surgeries in the Portsmouth, Fareham and Gosport and South Eastern Hampshire areas.
If you need an appointment contact your GP practice as normal. If it is closed call the free NHS 111. More appointments are available this year compared to last.
Local primary care services will continue to be available over Christmas, although, depending where you live, these may be offered to you at a hub, such as Gosport War Memorial Hospital or Fareham Community Hospital, rather than your own practice.
In Portsmouth, the Minor Injuries and Illnesses Unit at the St Mary’s Treatment Centre, on the community health campus at Milton, is open 365 days a year as a walk in and wait service. It opens 7.30am-10pm Monday–Friday and 8am-10pm at weekends and Bank Holidays.
You may also be invited to see a practice-based nurse or other healthcare professional instead of a GP, again depending on where you live and the nature of the problem.
Extended hours appointments are available to book through your usual GP practice in the usual way. These are not available for a walk-in service without appointment.
Dr David Chilvers, who chairs NHS Fareham and Gosport Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Despite the pressures on general practice, we are now able to offer people more choice and convenience than ever before when they want an appointment.
“And it’s important to remember that for help when GP practices are closed, we have always got the NHS 111 service. Whilst there may have been some issues in the past with 111 nationally, the local reports have generally been extremely supportive and favourable.”
Dr Elizabeth Fellows, who chairs NHS Portsmouth CCG, said: “Once again, it is important to stress that people should only go to the hospital Emergency Department at the Queen Alexandra Hospital if it is a genuine emergency.
“Your local pharmacy is another very good option which we highly recommend to patients. Pharmacies, and their staff are a super resource, and a full list of those open over Christmas is available on the three CCG websites and the NHS Choices website.”