While we may be celebrating this Christmas and New Year differently, your local NHS will still be here to support the whole family.
A range of services and support will be available throughout the bank holidays, from mental health support, GP appointments, emergency dentists and the Urgent Treatment Centre at St Mary's Hospital in Newport.
Dr Michele Legg, GP and clinical chair of NHS Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “While we continue to work in different ways to support the NHS response to coronavirus, we are all here for you.
“Please do get in touch if you are feeling unwell or are worried about a child or someone you care for, and we can find the right way to support you.
“If you need support from your GP while the practice is open before the Christmas and New Year bank holidays, please visit their website or give them a call and the team will advise of the best way to get in touch with a GP or nurse – this could be over the phone, a video consultation or a face to face appointment if you do need to be seen in person.”
During the bank holidays when your GP practice is shut, or whenever you need support and aren't sure who to contact, the NHS 111 service should be your first point of call.
The team at 111 and 111.nhs.uk is available 24/7.
For life-threatening physical or mental health emergencies, you should continue to call 999 or visit the Emergency Department immediately.
Dr Legg added: “We know it can be difficult not seeing family and friends this Christmas and the restrictions are impacting us all differently, so it is really important we take care of our wellbeing.
“There are a range of local and national services to help – please come forward and ask for help.”
While you may be busy finishing your Christmas shopping list, don't forget to check you have enough medication, particularly if you take repeat prescriptions, and order ahead in good time.
Before visiting any health or care service this festive season, please always call ahead first, unless you have an appointment, and do not visit if you have any of the symptoms of coronavirus. Find out what to do if you think you have symptoms and guidance on self-isolating at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19 or by calling 111 if you can't get online. And for the latest guidance on coronavirus restrictions in your local area, visit https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus.
However you are celebrating Christmas this year; please remember to follow the latest guidance in your area.
If you're out and about, always wash your hands, cover your face and make space. Doing your bit to help prevent the spread of coronavirus helps to protect you, your friends, family and those in our community who may be more vulnerable.
Urgent Treatment Centre
Urgent Treatment Centres (UTCs) and Minor Injuries Units (MIUs) can help with a number of conditions including:
- cuts and grazes
- sprains and strains
- broken bones or fractures
- bites and stings
- infected wounds
- minor head injuries
- minor eye problems.
The Urgent Treatment Centre is at St Mary's Hospital. Call NHS 111 to make an appointment. Please do not turn up without an appointment.
If you need dental advice, call your usual dental practice if they are open or contact 111 (111.nhs.uk or calling 111) while they are closed, and the team can find the right support for you.
A number of pharmacies will be open over the Christmas and New Year bank holidays but these will be to provide urgent prescriptions and essential over-the-counter medication. The list of opening times are available at https://www.england.nhs.uk/south-east/our-work/pharmacy-opening-hours – please call ahead to check the pharmacy is open and has the medicine you need before travelling.
Mental health support
Support for people who are vulnerable
If you need support while you stay at home and are vulnerable or shielding and do not have support from family or friends, there is help available to support you.
The IOW coronavirus helpline number is 01983 823600.
The opening times are:
Thursday 24 December (Christmas Eve) – 9am to 4.30pm
Friday 25 December (Christmas Day) – Closed
Saturday 26 December (Boxing Day) – Closed
Sunday 27 December – Closed
Bank Holiday Monday 28 December – Closed
Tuesday 29 to Thursday 31 December – 9am to 5pm
Friday 1 January New Year's Day – Closed
Saturday 2 December – 9am to 1pm
Sunday 3 December – Closed