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Right Arrow Examine your options: A&E is for real emergencies
17 December 2015 at 15:31


- Southport and Formby NHS service opening times

- West Lancashire NHS service opening times

- GP appointment over Christmas and New Year for West Lancs patients

Examine your options before using Accident and Emergency departments is the message from doctors and nurses again this Christmas and New Year.

A&E is for people facing life-threatening conditions and emergencies such as serious accidents, serious burns, breathing problems, heart attacks and strokes.

You don’t need an appointment at A&E but we’ll make an assessment on arrival and, depending on how urgent treatment is needed, you may have to wait up to four hours. The triage nurse or clinician may also signpost you to a different health care provider such as your GP, dentist or pharmacy.

That’s why you might be better examining your options first and choosing another NHS service – or even treating yourself. Local pharmacies and NHS Choices are also a good source of information and advice.

Coughs, colds, sore throats, upset stomachs, general aches and pains, and flu will usually clear up on their own. Keep warm, drink plenty of fluids and, if appropriate, treat with over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol.

Contact a GP or a GP out of hours service for help with injuries or illnesses that won’t go away. Alternative services available include:

West Lancashire Health Centre at Ormskirk hospital is open from 8am to 10pm all year round (Christmas Day 9am to 5pm).

Skelmersdale NHS Walk-in Centre at The Concourse is open from 7am to 10pm weekdays and from 9am to 5pm on weekends, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day.

NHS 111. When you or your family need medical help or advice fast, but it is not a 999 emergency, you can also call the NHS 111 service. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and calls are free from mobiles and landlines.

GP out-of-hours service. For times when you need an urgent appointment with a GP when your GP surgery is closed, GP out-of-hours services are available; just call 111 and you can speak to a local GP over the phone or face to face if necessary.

Pharmacies. Pharmacists are qualified to offer advice on health issues and medication as well as treat coughs, colds and other common illnesses without an appointment. For those that wish to speak to a pharmacist in private, many have a consultation rooms away from customers to discuss health queries.

Sexual health. Trust clinics providing sexual health services operate at a reduced service over Christmas and the New Year. For opening times visit our one-stop sexual health service or telephone 01704 513303. Community pharmacists in Sefton where emergency contraception is available are shown here. It is also available at any hospital A&E or NHS walk-in centre. Outside of sexual health clinic opening times, access to post exposure prophylaxis after sexual exposure to HIV (PEPSE) is available from any hospital A&E department.

Issued by Tony Ellis, Marketing and Communications Manager
Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust

Telephone 01704 704494
Twitter @SONHSTrust